Local Baby Photographer partners with Local Baby Massage Class.
Local Baby Photographer, Leanne du Plessis Photography, chats to another local baby business, Massage 2 Nurture, about the benefits of baby massage classes.
As your local baby photographer, I recently partnered up Sarah Batey from Massage 2 Nurture. We’re both in the baby business and I like to network with like-minded businesses and support small businesses.
Massage 2 Nurture is a baby massage class and pregnancy massage. I had the privilege of sitting in on one of Sarah’s classes and I was amazed by how much the babies loved their massage class. All the babies were so chilled out and smiling, until it came close to feed time. But then which baby doesn’t cry for a feed, to be fair which person doesn’t get a bit cranky when they are hungry?
Sarah was kind enough to answer a few questions for me that I thought might be useful for my clients and potential clients.
What are the benefits of baby massage?
All babies are different, with differing demands and needs. However, the one thing that in most is universal, is the love of touch. Touch is a necessity to develop a baby and caregivers’ emotional connection to each other, to enable the baby to feel secure and to develop into a child who can show care and compassion to others. Loving touch is an important skill to learn early in life.
It affects all your positive relationships into adulthood. A connection between Mum and baby is not always automatic. In cases of mothers who struggle with creating a bond with their newborn baby, possibly because of PND, massage can provide them with a means to connect. In the instance of a newborn who is incredibly demanding, due to colic, constipation, wind, etc, a baby massage can help alleviate these symptoms, whilst allowing mum and baby that special bonding time together. If baby refuses to settle throughout the massage, you can be guaranteed that someone else’s baby in the group, will at some point, display the same distress as yours does. Thus allowing you to realize that you aren’t alone in your daily battle of early motherhood.
Baby’s First Socialisation..
Furthermore, the group environment acts as babies first socialisation with others of his/her age, something which is key to them learning and developing good social skills.
In the instance of both my babies, I found that following a massage they were both extremely hungry and tired, something which I was incredibly grateful for. After a massage, they would tend to have a good long feed. Therefore, increasing the time that we had skin to skin contact for, and then would drift off to sleep whilst feeding. This was unusual for my firstborn, so I can only attribute it to the relaxation he felt and the closeness we had developed in the 30-minute massage preceding. Mothers who do not breastfeed their baby, whether through choice or misfortune, can use baby massage as a time to apply skin to skin contact with their baby and enhance their bond.
Finally, and probably most obviously, a baby’s skin, muscles, and joints, benefit hugely from massage. Increased blood flow to the extremities and skin, allows for the skin to become suppler, and the muscles and joints to be more mobile. Baby has entered the world following a long stay, scrunched up inside the womb, where his/her skin has been lubricated and protected from outside irritants. The skin, now exposed to handling, nappies, clothes, washing powder, any number of chemicals in soaps, wet wipes, and shampoos, could use a little tender loving care, and if a sensible base oil is used, massage can help to enrich the skin, and allow it to be nourished by the oil applied.
The joints and muscles, which have been scrunched up inside the womb for the last few weeks also require a little help, and massage can move the limbs and thus joints, into positions they would not otherwise achieve. Gentle guidance from caregiver can help baby to unfurl and allow them to naturally increase their mobility and encourage their muscles to fire as required. This control of muscle tonicity is the first step towards baby being on the move.
How old should baby be before starting the class?
Very young babies may find the environment of a baby massage class overly stimulating. It is often advised that a baby should be more settled into a routine, and their behaviour a little more predictable before joining a group session. The age guidelines for this are between 6-8 weeks. However, baby massage can be done from birth, so it is very safe and beneficial to do it. Parents may just have to accept that they may not get as much massage done, as some of the parents with older babies in the group. They can however learn the techniques and take them home to practice in a much less stimulating environment.
What qualifications do you have?
I have a Practitioner Diploma in Teaching Infant Massage. I was taught by To Baby and Beyond – Academy of Infant Massage and Yoga. The course was very thorough and prepared me for all types of questions, scenarios, and situations which may arise. I haven’t yet been stumped by a baby massage related question, although there is always a first time!!
Being taught to massage your baby by a qualified instructor gives you peace of mind that nothing you are taught will be detrimental to your baby. The anatomy and physiology module was in-depth and informative and is an essential tool for providing a high standard of teaching.
How long do the classes run for, how many people in a class, and how do we find out more information?
The classes run over a four week period (based either in Frimley or Farnborough) and last approximately 1 hour (handout discussion and hands-on massage). However, I always book the venue for 1.5hours to allow for time to socialise at the end over a drink and biscuit. Baby massage is not only about the baby, but it is also about Mummy socialisation time too. Having time to discuss your babies’ needs/development with like-minded Mums is an important part of why I run these classes. A happy relaxed Mummy leads to a happy relaxed baby.
I have a maximum of 8 mummies and babies in a class.
For more information you can find me on:
Phone: 07909 548741
What’s the funniest/strangest thing that’s ever happened to you during class?
Whilst still studying for my diploma I made it my mission to learn how to teach Mum’s of twins to massage their babies simultaneously. I found a Mum of twins for my case study, and it all went swimmingly well. With a newfound confidence following completion of my course I had an enquiry from an NCT group who wanted to learn baby massage and to my delight one of them had had twins.
Sessions 1 and 2 went well, but session 3 turned out to be a little more chaotic!!
Twin number 1 was unhappy and unsettled so Mum was trying to settle him, whilst twin number 2 was massaged by her NCT friend whose baby was sleeping (Mum of twins had consented to this and was very grateful).
Then a separate Mum was having a good natter and massaging away when her baby released a ripper and found herself sprayed in poo. Laughter obviously ensued, at the expense of the poor poo covered Mum, with the main offender being the kind soul who was massaging twin number 2 to help her friend out. In all the commotion, as if on cue, Twin 2 let her masseur know exactly what she thought of the proceedings by repeating the event!! This is the only time I have had any baby fully poo themselves in class, and to get two within seconds was quite memorable!
Here are a few images from one of Sarah’s fantastic baby massage classes. Everyone seemed to love the class!