Why massage?

At Baby Matters, we believe in the importance of touch and bonding with your baby and with so much evidence now supporting the benefits of massage we think it’s an important skill to learn.

For babies, a massage is a wonderful sensory experience. It stimulates your baby’s skin and body, increases oxytocin (your baby’s happy hormone), helps increase the efficiency of your baby’s respiratory and gastrointestinal functions (particularly relevant for babies prone to colic).

Baby massage is also a gentle intimate way to bond with your baby. Helping your baby relax, stretch out, relieve any body stresses and little areas of discomfort. What could be better than for you to see how positively you can affect your baby’s wellbeing.

By using practical baby massage techniques I can teach you how to understand your babies’ moods, needs, desires and expressions.

Learn a combination of Swedish and Indian Massage techniques along with reflexology and yoga and then take home some massage oils to share these techniques with your partner and grandparents.

why massage your baby?

Benefits for baby

  • General feeling of wellbeing by stimulating the release of endorphins – which subdue pain – and reducing the circulation of cortisol, the stress hormone.
  • Helps boost the immunity, regulates digestive system, respiratory and circulatory systems.
  • Security – a feeling of love and needs being met.
  • Helps babies learn to relax.
  • Promotes sounder and longer sleep.
  • Promotes communication and bonding.
  • Helps relieve discomforts from gas and colic, congestion and teething.

Benefits for parents

  • Provides “special time” together which helps with bonding.
  • Helps parents understand babies moods or cues and therefore meet their needs.
  • Improves parent – infant communication.
  • Allows parents to gain more confidence handling their baby.
  • Gives parents the ability to help their child relax during stressful times.
  • Provides parents with practical hands on solutions when their baby is suffering from colic/constipation/teething.
  • Research shows it helps mothers suffering from post-natal depression.

Father & baby massage

Whilst we are all aware of the benefits of a mother’s touch new research shows that a father’s touch is just as important and equally essential to a baby’s wellbeing and health.

“As they learn to soothe their babies, fathers notice their own stress levels are lessened. Together, they experience the calming power of touch, and begin to build life-long attachments,” said Tiffany Field, PhD, Director of Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and co-author of a survey on father-infant massage

An Australian study of infant massage and father-baby bonding, found that at 12 weeks old, babies who were massaged (by their fathers) greeted their fathers with more eye contact, smiling, vocalising and touch than those in the control group, and the fathers experienced improved self-esteem as a parent due to the increased involvement

Course content

The course is 6 sessions long and we learn the full body massage over the first 4 sessions. In the 5th session we learn the Quick Massage and the introduction to baby movement. We also include some nursery rhymes and children’s songs (don’t worry about your singing voice mine is terrible).

We also have a chance to discuss over a cup of tea and some chocolate biscuits various post natal issues:

  • How did the birth go?
  • A sensory toy workshop (a chance to make your baby a sensory toy).
  • Dental care “when to start?”
  • Weaning “where to start?”
  • Returning to work “childcare options” or “to stay at home”
  • Setting boundaries for your babies growing into toddlers!

Interesting subjects you can’t often openly discuss elsewhere.

The 6th session is for “partner’s only” giving the fathers a chance to come with their babies on a weekend morning and learn the massage (mum’s can get a lie in).

Massage oils are provided as well as a leaflet with details of massages and songs to help you practice at home.

All you need to bring is just a Baby, 2 thick towels, baby blanket, nappies and wipes.

Classes are suitable from birth, However your baby is likely to be more receptive at a few weeks old when more used to being touched, the classes are recommended until crawling starts.

The Partners session at the weekend was great, my husband would not have volunteered for this but as it was part of the course, went along and enjoyed it. He liked meeting the other Dads, swapping stories and having some time on his own with the babies.

Suzanne – mum to twins

I would recommend baby massage, its a really lovely activity to complete with your baby. Debra runs the baby massage course in her beautiful home which makes for a very calm and relaxing environment.

Leanne – mum to Chole
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