Massage has been used for thousands of years to provide nurturing touch to babies. Significant benefits for both the baby and the carer have been well researched and documented. Shine is excited to be offering the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) Course in Nelson.
ABOUT THE COURSE
Over the 5 week course you will learn different strokes and techniques to provide your baby with gentle, nurturing massage. We build slowly each week to give baby time to become accustomed to the massage process. By the end of the course you will have the skills and techniques to give your baby a full-body massage, as well as learning some gentle developmental movement exercises that babies just love!
You will also learn a routine to help your baby if they have gas and/or colic. We will also discuss the ways you can adapt the massage to meet your baby's needs as they change and grow, giving you a way to connect throughout their childhood.
In addition, each week you will be provided with information to help deepen your understanding of the theory behind infant massage and communication with your baby. You will learn how to read your baby's cues and recognise their different behavioural states.
Each week we also have time for parent discussion, where any parenting questions can be raised and discussed in a safe and non-judgemental environment.
Class numbers are kept small to ensure the environment is kept calm so that babies do not become overwhelmed. Additionally the teacher is able to focus on meeting the individual needs of all parents and children attending the course.
BENEFITS OF MASSAGE
Nurturing touch has been shown to provide numerous benefits for your baby, stimulating all of the major systems of the body. It can help improve sleep, emotional regulation, digestion, growth, relaxation and muscle development.
It produces 'feel good' hormones like dopamine, oxytocin and seratonin, while reducing stress hormones.
It can also be used to help reduce discomfort caused by gas and colic, constipation, runny noses and growing pains.
It has been shown to promote bonding between child and care-giver, build communication and increase parents' (especially new parents') confidence and self-esteem.
There are certain circumstances where baby massage can be especially helpful as parents and babies face particular challenges.
Massage is hugely beneficial for these little early birds. Studies have shown that preterm babies who are massaged:
have lower levels of stress hormones and show fewer stress behaviours
gain weight more rapidly than babies who are not massaged (studies have shown 31-47% more weight gain)
have a lower heartrate increase in response to pain suggesting massage reduces their pain response
have shorter hospital stays
are more alert and responsive
POST NATAL DEPRESSION
Postnatal Depression affects up to 15% of Mums after they have given birth. As well as impacting the mothers, postnatal depression can also make it hard for Mums to bond with their babies, which has a flow on effect for babies as well.
One of the many things that has been shown to be helpful for families dealing with postnatal depression is parent-infant massage. The IAIM baby massage courses have been shown to be beneficial in two ways.
Firstly, research has shown that attending the classes and massaging your baby improves depression scores for mothers.
Secondly mothers who attended the massage classes showed greatly improved infant-parent interactions with their child by the end of the course.
If your baby has been diagnosed with colic it can be an extremely difficult time both for you and for them. Many parents feel helpless as there seems like there is nothing they can do to help their baby.
As part of the IAIM course you will learn a specific massage routine designed especially to help babies suffering from colic.
A recent study showed that massaging a colicky baby twice a day for just a week reduced the number of colic cries the baby had each day as well as the intensity of the cries. Research has also shown baby massage to reduce the amount of time a colicky baby cries per day and to increase sleep.
"What a wonderful, calming, relaxing time we had. Jensen loved his massages and I love them even more!! At the end everyone, Mums and babies were so calm we were ready to face the day!!"
“Andi is very relaxed and calm and there is a lovely sense of calm in the room even when the babies are crying."
“The classes were fantastic for teaching me the massage techniques for my baby. She really enjoyed the contact. More than that was the overall experience; meeting other lovely participants and the sharing of parenting ideas. I would recommend this course to everyone with babies.”
WHO WILL MASSAGE MY BABY?
Only you will massage your own baby. Andi will use a doll to demonstrate the strokes and techniques.
HOW OLD SHOULD MY BABY BE TO ATTEND THE CLASS?
Classes are designed for pre-crawling babies. Babies can attend the classes anytime from 2-4 weeks onwards.
CAN BOTH PARENTS COME TO THE CLASSES?
Yes! We welcome all parents/care-givers to attend the classes. There is no additional charge for the extra parent. A doll can be provided for one parent to practice the strokes while the other massages your baby.
WHAT IF MY BABY CRIES?
Shine Happy Baby massage classes are a safe space for parents and their babies. Babies won't always be in the mood for a massage - they might fuss or cry or sleep. That's fine! We have dolls you can use if your baby is sleeping. If you need to stop and tend to a fussy or crying baby that's no problem. There are handouts you can refer to and I can follow up with you to catch you up on anything you miss.