Babies on Mats Massage

Massage is a great way to bond with our baby from the very beginning. When pregnant, you might not have even noticed yourself rubbing your bump and feeling closer to your growing baby, but it’s likely that you did it when you felt your bump kick or wriggle, or even when the bump had gone to sleep! So why stop now…?

Baby massage releases oxytocin – the feel good hormone in both you and your baby. For Mums, this can help with baby blues and aid all new mums to feel calmer and more relaxed, which in turn can also help with breastfeeding. For baby, this oxytocin lets their muscles relax while rubbing gentle oils into their skin nourishes post birth dry skin. Skin stimulation is also a vital trigger to their nervous system.

Massage can also provide relief to babies, for example massaging a baby’s tummy can help to ease their colic, trapped wind or constipation. Many midwives massage premature babies in hospital because massage in known to stimulate growth and development, and so helps babies to thrive. Babies with additional needs respond very well to massage, as a loving touch is a unique way of communicating and soothing.

I recommend coming to a course to learn the techniques – I’d even go as far as to say that if you are off on maternity leave it is worth attending classes BEFORE your baby arrives, so that you can implement what you have learned from day one! I have dolls at my sessions for pregnant people to practise on. Alternatively, attending a baby massage course gets YOU out of the house and lowers you very gently into the world of baby groups, where lifelong Mummy-Friendships are formed in an instant new network of supportive mums. On a course, you will also learn about creating the right environment for massaging your baby, when you are both alert but calm. You will also learn about using the right oils – I have a couple of different organic oils in my sessions for the parents to try out. Avoid using oils that are petroleum based, as well as those which have really strong smells, and essential oils unless it is a specific baby blend from an established brand.

Babies aren’t always in the mood for massage – even if you are! A course will teach you how ask permission from your baby before every massage and how to read the cues back! It’s a good idea to start off with just a few minutes, and build up over time. That gives you a clear indicator of what works for your baby and what doesn’t. Times to avoid massage, but try again another time, would include:

• Immediately after a feed, or when baby is hungry.

• When baby is tired or overtired.

• When baby is unwell, has a temperature or has recently had vaccinations.

• When there is a rash, or if a bruise is forming, or if the skin is broken.

• If baby becomes upset or falls asleep during a massage then stop.

If any of the above occur during my sessions, I have dolls which the parents can practise on in class, so they are confident to try the technique at home later.

Author, Helen McClorry, Babies on Mats Massage

ON MATS MASSAGE Ba b y Ma s s a g e

Group Courses * 121 at Home * Small Groups at Home

Parents-to-be / New Mums / New Dads

12.30pm Wednesdays Bourne End Village Hall,

Just Off A41, between Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead, London Road, HP1 2RJ

Call / text Helen for more info: 07833511720



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