We are lucky enough to have the wonderful Sophie Brigstocke writing for the Crave Maternity blog this week. Sophie is a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter as well as a Birth and Postnatal Doula and Baby Massage Instructor. Today she talks about Baby Massage:
“In the first few weeks as a new Mum you can feel lost and all-at-sea – having to learn something that cannot be taught – how to be a parent.
The new baby is totally dependent on you for all of their needs and it can be quite overwhelming as well as exhausting. Don’t get me wrong – it is, and can be utterly joyous and exciting too, but there are moments when you feel out of your depth.
With a colicky baby, and recovering from a less than straightforward birth, I decided to try Baby Massage as a way of settling my precious newborn, and also as a way of cementing friendships with a group of new Mums. Little did I realise what a profound impact it would have! Not only did I learn some really useful skills which made a drastic difference to my ability to calm and soothe my baby, but I felt more connected to my baby – able to enjoy his smiles and laughter. In a very short space of time he was far more relaxed and contented, and the discomfort which had become an every evening nightmare disappeared. I felt confident and calm as a mother and loved my time with him. This turnaround influenced a whole new career for me – working with mothers and babies first as a Baby Massage teacher, and then also as a Doula. I wanted to impart the knowledge given to me by inspirational teachers and enable a smooth transition into parenthood for hundreds of other mothers and fathers.
Beyond the lovely cuddly stuff, studies have shown that Baby Massage is very beneficial for mothers suffering from Post Natal Depression, for teenage Mums who are struggling to interact with their babies, for premature infants, children with asthma, diabetes, and certain skin disorders. At the Touch Institute in the USA many studies have been carried out on the benefits of massage. In premature babies, those who received massage three times daily, as opposed to just being held, left hospital on average six days earlier with greater weight gain, better social interaction and better sleep patterns. It is powerful stuff!
For more information about baby massage contact Sophie Brigstocke
Read our Crave Maternity blog post about massage in pregnancy to avoid stretchmarks
Read more about Sophie’s work as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter, Birth and Postnatal Doula and Baby Massage Instructor here: www.sophiebrigstocke.com