Desmond Elephant explores the benefits of Baby Massage with Polly Field from The Bath Massage Company June 30 2014
On the blog today I am delighted to introduce Polly Field owner of The Bath Massage Company - My daughter Nelly and I were fortunate to attend one of Polly’s Baby Massage courses earlier this year and I would highly recommend booking a course if you live in Bath or nearby. It’s a great way to get to know your baby better and also meet other mums. Here Polly talks about the benefit of baby massage both for mother and baby.
Polly Field, owner of The Bath Massage Company.
Many of you may have heard about Baby Massage and may be thinking about trying it out with your new born but maybe unsure about what actually goes on in a session, and also may not know what Baby Massage actually does. I’m going to share with you some of the many amazing benefits it can have on your baby, as well as on you.
Massaging your baby can be a fantastic way for you to relax and take some “time-out”. By creating a calm atmosphere, dimming the lights, maybe putting on some relaxing music and immersing yourself in your present environment, you can give yourself valuable headspace and time to think (or not to!). The natural rhythm you encounter when repeating the same loving strokes adds to this, allowing your mind to wander whilst focusing on your beautiful baby. Oxytocin, that natural, wonderful love and relaxation hormone, will flood your body’s system as your massage your baby helping to undo the effects of any stress accumulated throughout the day. This process actually mimics the same hormonal response encountered with the first skin-to-skin mum and baby had following birth, and is a great way for you to indulge in being close to one another allowing the time to be sentimental and nostalgic about meeting each other for the first time.
The beauty of oxytocin during massage is that it is released in both mother and baby, making your both feel relaxed, safe and loved. It is through these feelings and mutual interaction that our attachment and relationship strengthens. Many parents talk about having always loved their babies but falling “in” love with them through massaging and having regular skin-to-skin. Communicating non-verbally by reading your baby’s cues and responding to them through caring touch bolsters your relationship, giving you confidence, reassurance and security.
In my baby massage sessions you learn how to read your babies cues and how respond to them with touch and how to use the specific massage strokes created by the IAIM safely on your baby. If you haven’t heard of the IAIM they are the International Association of Infant Massage who are the largest and longest standing, and only association dedicated solely to baby massage in the world. They have trained over 12,000 infant massage instructors in the UK alone.
As well as learning the massage strokes and all about infant cues, the sessions offer dedicated time to learn about other aspects of baby massage and include discussions on baby reflexes, safe massage positions and how to create a good environment, to name a few. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other new parents and discuss all things baby related (or not! we discuss all sorts of thing in my in sessions!). Over all it is simply a great way to indulge in your parent-baby relationship in those early days, which all too often are filled with sleepless nights, panicked google searches and too many visitors! It gives you and your baby some quality time together to get to know one another and enjoy each other’s company.
“The Baby is the Teacher,
The Parent is the expert,
The instructor is the guide”