BABY MASSAGE THE INNATE POWER OF TOUCH

BABY MASSAGE THE INNATE POWER OF TOUCH

Harness the innate power of touch

Discover new ways of connecting with your baby

Ever done baby massage before?

Know much about it?

Why not learn some baby massage techniques?

 

Many parents already do some massage on their babies as parents naturally touch their babies to calm, soothe and connect.

Many parents appreciate being able to learn more about some structured massage techniques that they can adapt or build on at home as needed to enhance the instinctive care they give to their baby.

 

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BENEFITS OF BABY MASSAGE

 

Baby massage is great for first time parents as a confidence builder

 

It is also great for second time around or “thereafter” parents as a way to spend special time in their busy lives with just this baby alone

 

Baby massage is another fun and relaxing way to bond with your baby. It can help relieve feelings of anxiety common in parenthood often associated with time pressures and a sudden increased sense of responsibility and demands, helping parents to relax more within themselves and with their baby.

 

It can help babies to calm down when they are feeling anxious, physically uncomfortable, irritable or in pain, so that they feel more safe, secure and comfortable. 

 

At baby massage classes, parents can learn more about normal baby behaviour, recognising and responding to baby cues & body language more reflexively and learning to watch for the signs of overstimulation and stress their baby may at times be exhibiting.

 

Consistently going through repetitive massage sequences helps teach your baby expectant and predictive behaviour such as “if this happens, then that usually follows”, giving babies an increased sense of security. 

 

Baby massage at an early age helps introduce the concept of appropriate touch – what touch is OK and what touch is not OK. As baby massage is intended to be performed only by the parents or a person who has a special and close bond with the baby, eg a grandparent, older sibling or similar trusted person, this further reinforces the concept.

 

Baby massage is a fun activity for both you and your baby. During a massage session, a two-way connection is created which naturally has positive effects for both of you.

 

Baby massage is a valuable skill and gives you some more parenting techniques you can try in class and be able to take away with you to put into practice at home as it best suits you and your family situation. Learning specific strokes and sequences provides parents with another valuable trick to store in their parenting toolbox.

 

Baby massage enhances the communication between you and your baby at a deeper, instinctive and non-verbal level.

 

Baby massage gives lifelong health benefits to babies.

 

Other fantastic things about massage is that massage is flexible in that once the basic skills are learnt, any part of the sequence can be adapted to better suit the needs, wishes or preferences of you and/or your baby. You can even use the same strokes and sequences on your older children – there is no age limit for massage with some modifications for different ages.  Many parents can personally attest to how wonderful it feels to receive a massage as an adult.

 

Being a parent, as amazing an experience as it is, can at times be very isolating. Attending a baby massage class provides you with another great opportunity to meet some other parents to share stories, make and build friendships. It also creates another type of support network, important with any parents. 

 

Booking into a class, you will learn the basics of baby massage, enough to get you started, enabling you to then take away the knowledge you have gained and use it to add to your existing skills, continuing to modify your use of massage techniques as it best works for you at home.

 

Dads are very welcome at all classes either as the sole attending parent or accompanying the mum and are encouraged to attend. In fact many dads greatly enjoy learning another way they can interact in a very practical way with their baby through baby massage sessions.  

 

WHAT HAPPENS AT A BABY MASSAGE CLASS?

 

There are no hard and fast rules with baby massage – just guidelines.

At a class:

·      Learn a bit more about some of the many benefits of baby massage

·      You will learn the theory behind the strokes and sequences and how and why baby massage techniques are different to those performed on adults

·      Learn some suggestions about when, where, how long & how often to massage your baby

·      You will be able to watch a baby massage demonstration from start to finish while putting the theory into practice at the same time with your baby. Classes are set at a relaxed pace as baby massage is baby-led and you are free to participate at your own pace and your baby's pace

·      Learn the best types of oils to use when massaging your baby

·      Learn a few specific types of massage that can be used for helping relieve particular situations such as colic and wind

·      Learn situations when you may need to use caution when massaging your baby or on the rare occasions when it would be best to avoid massage

·      Learn a few more ideas you can try if you are unable/don’t wish/don’t have time to perform a full massage session but would like to calm or relax your baby

 

More blog posts to come on baby massage!

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS WITH A NEWBORN

CHRISTMAS WITH A NEWBORN

Christmas can be highly stressful and overwhelming to many people. Add your gorgeous newborn baby fresh home from the hospital and it can all fly off the handle. Here follow a few ideas to help smooth over life at this sometimes too frantic time of the year.

My grandmother used to have a saying “The smallest in the house is the biggest master”. As a child I used to laugh at all her funny old English expressions and didn’t know what any of them meant. Having my own children many years later, I then completely understood and could see a lot of truth in those old sayings.

Your experience of Christmas with a new child will be truly a blessing but realistically it will be a totally different experience to how it used to be. Take it all in and enjoy it to the full in a new magical way.

Simplify everything – yes I mean EVERYTHING! If there’s a simpler, less complicated, easier, no fuss, quicker, more straightforward way of doing tasks, go for it! If someone suggests a more streamlined way of doing something, give it a try. You have nothing to lose and may find the idea a lifesaver.

Don’t underestimate the impact of having a new baby in the house. Yes, there is no doubt it is blissful and wonderful and idyllic but once you arrive home, you are HOME and into the thick of everyday life and everyday issues. Be practical.

All to the good if you have people around you who are more than happy to organise the celebrations and make it all happen on the day. If you want to/ feel the need to offer some contribution to the festivities, be certain it is within your current capabilities so you are not stretched beyond your limits. Prepare ahead of time exactly what your contribution will be. Go for simple preparations. Instead, maybe offer to buy some drinks, fresh fruit or commercially made or pre-made treats. Above all, set realistic goals for what you are able to do or commit to do. Ideally on the day itself, you will be left to relax and enjoy the day while focusing on only looking after yourself and your baby.
If Christmas will be at your house – and only you will know if this arrangement suits you better than going out for Christmas – remember that you have just had a baby and that people need to take you – and the house – literally as they find you.

If your day involves going out or travelling for any length of time and you are relying on a breast pump be sure to pack the pump when you pack every- thing else. Before baby came along, you were not accustomed to be carrying a pump around with you. It is a very common occurrence to go out or go on holidays and arrive at your destination to the dreadful realisation that the breast pump is still back at home. More shocking is the drama that ensues if breastfeeding were not to be going so well for some reason and you urgently needed to express some milk. You then find yourself needing to get your hands on a breast pump fast when you may be far from home during a string of public holidays! Not a fun and calming thought!

Plan for simple meals. In our typically hot and dry or hot and humid Australian Summers, aim for meals that don’t require cooking and minimal preparation. Better still, let someone else do the meal preparation at this time, even if it would normally be your job.

Make full use of any labour-saving devices you may have access to such as dishwashers, slow cookers, washing machines, dryers. In the kitchen, use paper plates, cutlery and cups, especially if extra people are in the house visiting. Use takeaway and home delivery as the ultimate convenience food to lighten the load if the need arises.

Most people can learn something valuable from the Scouts. Be prepared for both the expected and the unexpected. Keep all “help” numbers close at hand for potential emergencies. Unexpected sickness and breastfeeding issues can and do happen at all times of the year, sometimes more so at this time of the year.

Holiday periods particularly during the Christmas break in Australia usually amount to extended closures or significantly reduced working hours of many regular health organisations and related businesses. Help can usually be found in some form. However, depending on the nature of help needed, you may find the help you receive after hours and on public holidays may not be the most appropriate type of help. The busy emergency department of a public hospital running on further reduced staff levels after normal business hours is undoubtedly the last place you would hope to find yourself and your newborn baby during the Christmas holidays, namely unresolved breastfeeding issues which have progressed in severity to become an urgent medical issue.

A major component of support for new mothers especially with first time babies is reassurance of normal baby behaviour and this is especially time sensitive in the early days after your baby’s birth. An important tip - if you give birth in the days that fall around Christmas Day – either just before, on the day or just after – chances are high that you will want to go home as soon as possible and the hospital will most likely encourage you to do just that. Be certain if you are discharged at this time that you go home with a list of contact numbers in your baby’s blue book, more critically numbers that are fully reachable until normal services recommence. This may include contact details of home visiting midwives and child health nurses.

 

Where to find support

Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA)

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/

A lactation consultant (IBCLC)

http://www.lcanz.org/ find-a-lactation-consultant/

Support groups on Facebook or online

https://www.facebook.com/dubbo- breastfeedingandparentingsupport

http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/overstimulation.html/context/738

https://www.breastfeeding.asn. au/bf-info/safe-when-breastfeeding/ alcohol-and-breastfeeding

http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/breastfeeding_attachment_video. html