Parenting and childbirth professionals such as midwives, lactation consultants and counselors, child birth educators and doulas all have a wonderful opportunity and a special mission to bring nurturing touch to the families they work with. It might be as you set up the environment and plan the activities for a prenatal class or visit so that they encourage intimacy and touch in the family. Or delivery a baby onto a mother’s belly for skin-to-skin contact for the first hour after birth. Or make sure the baby is in a parent’s arms for that first visit after the birth. Something as simple as settling the baby back into the mother’s arms again and again tell the mother and baby they belong together and stoke the embers of their relationship to encourage good bonding.
Teaching infant massage to a family allows you to talk about the vital qualities of touch, the importance of developing a close bond, the unique cues and personality of their baby. Research shows infant massage supports breastfeeding success and duration. Parents find massage helps them feel closer to their baby. Studies show that mothers with post-natal depression who attended a support group AND learned infant massage reduced their depression more than a support group on its own did. And in addition, the infant showed almost no signs of living with a depressed mother.
Plus regular use of infant massage may improve a child’s digestion, increase weight gain, reduce stress, improve sleep patterns, and help a child resist illnesses and diarrhea, That is a powerful tool to give families!
The following are comments from Infant Massage Certification Training participants who educate and serve families:
“Instructing parents in infant massage has been a very gratifying experience. It is an amazing feeling to receive an email and phone call from a parent after a session who wants to share their successes with you. . . . The special interactions I’ve already had with just a few families has encouraged me and inspired me to follow this path. Teaching these sessions has made my heart happy and spirit soar. You know you’re on to something when your work is joyful!”
“This was an excellent class and thoroughly enjoyed being able to participate. I have had excellent feedback from my clients and how their babies love the massage. One of my clients came up to me and hugged me the other day. Her baby had such bad bloating and constipation, so the one session I showed her the strokes and exercises to do and the next week she said how much happier her baby felt, how the bloating had decreased, how much better she slept, and no more constipation for the last few days. The look and excitement on the mom’s face was priceless!!!!!”
“This has been very exciting for me. The amount of interest has shown me that people are excited about learning and bonding with their babies. You have given me an invaluable tool. Thank you Infant Massage USA!!!”
“Jody is great! the focus on relationships, cues, development, and special circumstances – rather than just learning rote massage strokes and techniques – is invaluable!”
“This is such a good way to reach out to new parents and offer support, education & growth as parents and a family unit.”
“This course fully prepares you to walk away & set up your own business. Excellent demo [on] how to teach a class.”
“By the end of the class I was completely excited and inspired to begin the next step in my life/journey/career.”
“Whether trying to find new ways to incorporate infant massage into your current practice or branching out into a new career, the training was a wonderful way to learn techniques to strengthen the parental-infant bond which is so important in laying the groundwork for who our little ones will be.”
“The training gave me the opportunity to grow and learn. I truly feel inspired to begin a new career.”
“I was amazed at how my lost passion for teaching was renewed. I feel I am coming full circle with this opportunity. As an adult, I have always desired to make a positive difference with those I come in contact with and teaching infant massage is definitely a piece of that. I truly see the value in guiding parents in communicating with their baby and not doing the infant massage myself.”
“I never expected the class to impact me as it did. I LOVE TEACHING INFANT MASSAGE!!!!! To observe the positive impact of the massage as I teach it is a powerful thing. My comfort level with this [homeless] shelter made this whole experience must smoother. The mothers were so appreciative and seemed to be incorporating massage into their daily routine. I learned that this high-energy woman is able to slow down and teach a very calm and soothing infant massage class. I learned to pace the class and take the cues from the mothers and babies.”