8 March 2023
Baby Massage helps you soothe and comfort your baby. It has health benefits for them and can relieve stress and postpartum difficulties, strengthening the bond between you. Joining a Baby Massage Group lets you learn and gain confidence from a trained professional. It’s also a great way to meet other new parents and exchange tips and experiences. There are usually 5 or 6 sessions. Some run private groups, dads only groups and online classes. The following organisations have groups throughout the UK.
This organisation has trained over 10,000 practitioners since 1997 including neonatal carers. It is the only international Baby massage organisation. Trained individuals set up groups as a small business. They provide a welcoming environment.
The comprehensive courses they provide teach:
The National Childbirth Trust offers training in Infant Massage. Parents can attend a 5 week course to learn to soothe their baby and connect with them. The aims are:
The courses are a chance to socialise. Many new parents feel trapped and isolated at home with a new baby so sharing experiences is hugely beneficial. There’s plenty of time to chat and help each other through the early days. You can find a local group on the NCT website.
Your Health visitor or midwife can put you in touch with local SureStart Centres which often offer Baby Massage. These are part or fully funded so there is often no charge for participants. SureStart is there to give advice and support to the least advantaged families.
Baby massage is an intrinsic part of Indian culture and Ayurvedic tradition. It focuses on the health benefits. Using herbal ayurvedic oils massage improves circulation, digestion and the expulsion of toxins. Sesame seed oil and coconut oil feature and there may be aromas in the room to help create a calm and soothing atmosphere. Techniques like pressing gently on the hands in a circular motion use acupressure points; similarly the feet. Practitioners can be found through the International Association of Human Values UK which offers full support for mothers postpartum.
Physiotherapists recognise the benefits of baby massage and some run classes teaching anatomy as well as massage techniques. Baby Physio in London has paediatric physiotherapists that teach baby massage in class and online. There are 4 sessions. Physiotherapists can also be booked to perform massage on your baby themselves.