I've had a wonderful week training for Baby Massage and Baby Yoga. I can't wait to share a few techniques tomorrow evening at BellyTots. (Yes, I did get my chips at the beach.....though I ate inside as it was a little chilly come the evening....but still beautiful!)
It was amazing to recap the benefits of massage for babies. It has been used in many diverse cultures over the centuries to help with a variety of physical and emotional needs and to promote relaxation. Gayle Berry of Blossom and Berry reminds us that: 'Babies crave skin contact. Touch is your baby’s most developed sense at birth and through it you can communicate love, security and trust to your baby immediately. Everyone has the ability to touch and massage another'.
I so enjoyed the reminders to watch for a baby’s subtle non verbal language; a great skill to develop to listen to your baby and learn to read their non verbal cues - definitely something I will be including in my own baby massage classes. I am planning to teach baby massage in small groups in my home from July. I would love to see you there!
As the training progressed, I was reminded of the importance of touch for labour as well. Everywhere your birth partner touches you or massages you, your body will produce natural endorphins - your body's natural pain reliever. That loving touch will also further increase oxytocin levels - the body's birth hormone. Study after study shows that the higher the level of oxytocin, the shorter and easier the birth. Massage in labour is also helpful to reduce discomfort from unnecessary muscle tension. Only the womb needs to work hard in labour; the rest of the body can be at ease and comfortable. Great birth partners will help a mother to release tension from her jaw, shoulders, fingers and toes....all parts of the body that don't need to be carrying tension during labour. Our next partner class is 7th June, where I'll be running through some simple massage techniques for birth partners to use in labour.
Tomorrow's class will have a theme of touch running through it to remind us of this important gift we can give our babies and to ourselves.