So, what is Baby Massage?
When I tell people I teach Baby Massage, the immediate response tends to be “so you massage babies?”
No! That couldn’t be further from what I do. Only parents massage their babies. Baby Massage is a two-way communication through touch; a dialogue between you and your baby.
Touch is the first sense developed in the womb at around eight weeks gestation and is how your baby primarily experiences and communicates with their world. Your nurturing touch has an important role for easing the transition from womb to world for your new baby. Baby massage can be a wonderful extension of this natural impulse, whilst enhancing the bonding process through skin-to-skin touch, eye contact, voice and smell.
Baby Massage has been a traditional practice passed down through the generations for over 3000 years and in many cultures today is part of a baby’s daily baby care routine.
About the International Association of Infant Massage and its Founder Vimala McClure
Whilst studying and working in a small orphanage in Northern India in 1973 the founder of the International Association of Infant Massage, Vimala McClure, became aware of the importance of traditional Indian baby massage, both for its soothing effects and for its role in affectionate non-verbal communication. An Indian mother regularly massages everyone in her family and passes these techniques on to her daughters.
At the orphanage, the eldest massaged the little ones nearly every day, this was a type of nurturing Vimila hadn't seen before in the United States. Vimala brought the traditional practice of infant massage to the West and aims to bridge ancient wisdom with modern research and knowledge.
The International Association of Infant Massage was founded by Vimala McClure in 1986.
The International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) is the original and longest standing infant massage association in the world – with an international heritage dating back to the 1960’s – and still to this day is the only association in the world dedicated solely to infant massage.
Accredited by The Royal College of Midwives, the purpose of the International Association of Infant Massage is to promote nurturing touch and touch communication through training, education and research; powering its belief that it is every baby’s fundamental birth right to receive nurturing touch.
"In today’s hectic schedule and busy routine, baby massage is the best tool to feel empowered as a parent, and to do something real for your baby. Baby massage is a loving, nurturing touch, a special, intimate time with your baby. Babies are massaged in many cultures from birth as part of the daily baby care routine." Vimala McClure.
Four Main Categories of Baby Massage Benefits, as defined by IAIM Founder, Vimala McClure:
- Interaction - enhancing bonding and attachment, non-verbal communication and sensory development
- Stimulation - of the circulatory, digestive, lymphatic, nervous, respiratory and vestibular systems, as well as growth, language development, learning and neuron connections
- Relaxation – improve sleep patterns, increase flexibility, coping mechanisms, regulation of behavioural states, calmness, reduction in cortisol and an increase in oxytocin and serotonin
- Relief - can help with wind, symptoms of colic, growing pains, teething, disorganisation of the nervous system, tension and excess mucus.
How Baby Massage can help your baby
- Helping your baby to feel securely attached
- Helping your baby to feel more loved, valued and respected
- Reduced crying and emotional distress
- Increased levels of relaxation and longer sleep
- Development of body awareness and coordination
- Relief from wind, colic, constipation and teething discomfort
How Baby Massage can help you
- Feeling closer to your baby
- Gaining a deeper understanding of your baby's behaviour, communication and body language
- Providing an enjoyable opportunity to spend one-to-one time with your baby
- Feeling the relaxing effects of giving your baby a massage
- Increased confidence in your ability to care for and nurture your baby
- Learning a life-long parenting skills
Benefits for the entire family
- Promotes love and respect between siblings and with extended family
- Increases respect a relaxed environment and can reduce conflicts within the family
- Promotes relaxation and therefore better sleep for the family
Benefits for society – long term
- Promotes emotional wellbeing and resilience, as well as the ability to form healthy relationships in adulthood, leading to more securely-attached-society-cycle
- Promotes positive nurturing touch, respect and empathy towards others, leading to a more peaceful society
- Reduces the risk of developing mental health illness, addiction and drug and alcohol misuse
- Reduction in NHS costs due to a healthier society
Sunflower Baby Massage aims: Facilitate. Enhance. Promote. Support
- To facilitate a relaxed, nurturing and tranquil space for parents to spend quality quiet-time communicating and connecting with their baby.
- To enhance early bonds that are loving, healthy and secure, through meaningful parent-baby interaction.
- To promote the warm interactions and gentle communication of Baby Massage as part of routine baby-care.
- To support parents in their love for their baby and as the best experts on their baby.
Emma offers Puddle Ducks Customers a 10% discount on all group and one-to-one courses. For more information visit our Rainbow Rewards Page