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The benefits of baby massage

Laura Trott
Hi my name is Laura and I am a qualified baby massage instructor and Mum to my little girl, Daisy.

I took Daisy to these classes and loved them so much as it gave me a chance to stop, relax and bond with her whilst learning techniques to help soothe, calm and relax Daisy and even help with wind and reflux.   These tools that I learnt have stayed with me and I now incorporate them into my daily routine and I truly believe that this has helped Daisy to become the content relaxed child that she is, which is why I want to share my experience with you.

Not only are the classes great for babies it gives you the opportunity to chat to other mums in a relaxed social environment and share your experiences and tips on all things baby.
Massaging your baby could help you to feel better. Baby massage can help mums who have mild depression, as well as those who have more severe depression.

If you have postnatal depression (PND), you may struggle to take any pleasure from looking after your baby. Everyday tasks, such as feeding and bedtime routines, will feel like a real trial for you.

Having PND can also make it harder for you to communicate with your baby. For example, your baby may gurgle and then leave space for you to respond. But if you’re feeling depressed or anxious, it’s easy to miss your baby’s cues. You may be feeling distant from your baby, or think that you’re not quite in tune with what she needs.

The good news is that baby massage can help you to bridge this communication gap, and allow you to focus on your baby.

Massage stimulates the release of your body’s natural feel-good chemical, oxytocin. When oxytocin floods your body, it helps you and your baby to form a close bond.

Making eye contact with your baby, and chatting to her, may come more easily when you’re massaging her. This close physical contact can help you to be sensitive to your baby’s needs, and your baby will start to respond more to you, too. Those everyday tasks that have been a struggle should gradually become more manageable.

You could join a baby massage group to learn the basics, and to meet other mums. Going along regularly can help you to tune in to your baby, and can lift your mood. After just a few weeks of going to a group, you may feel you’re turning a corner.

If the thought of going to a group is too daunting, ask your health visitor to arrange for a nurse to visit you at home. She can give you a couple of one-to-one sessions to get you started.

Baby massage is just one strategy to help you to feel better, though. If you are depressed, try to find someone to share your concerns with.

You may have a close friend you can talk to, or you may prefer to speak to a professional. If your midwife is no longer visiting, ask your health visitor or GP for help with coping with PND.

Why baby massage?

Post-natal depression not only harms the sufferer, but can severely affect the bonding process between mother and child.
This can subsequently harm the future development of the infant, leading to behavioural problems.
But a small study which compared women with post-natal depression who massaged their child, and those who did not, found tangible benefits after only a few sessions.
Dr Vivette Glover is calling for more mothers to be trained. Mothers who massaged their babies had a far more normal relationship with the child in day-to-day life.
Dr Vivette Glover, an expert in child stress from Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in London is keen to see the number of instructors trained to teach baby massage increased.
She said: “We were concerned because mothers with post natal depression have misery because they were depressed, but there is increasing evidence it affects the relationship with the baby.
“But those who went to a baby massage class did much better in mother baby interaction.
“They were back as normal mothers should be, enjoying their babies.”
She said that baby massage was taken for granted in other cultures, such as in India, but was a tradition that ‘seemed to have been lost’ in the UK.
Baby massage differs from ordinary massage in that it consists only of very gentle stroking and touching.
One convert to the practise, mother Rachel Yates, told the BBC: “It’s a really good way of getting to know your child and understanding what their body language means.

Contact Laura

Laura Trott
Phone: 07798726186

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