Soothing with baby massage

Wonderful as new
babies are they can be overwhelming and if the baby has difficulty sleeping or
is colicky then new mothers can become

exhausted quickly.
However baby massage, which is used a lot in the Far East to soothe babies, has
very good results in aiding sleep and with digestive problems. Beverly
Edgington, holistic practitioner at the DaVinci Centre and a member of the
International Institute of Baby Massage, teaches parents the technique and says
that baby massage is quite common in Eastern cultures but less so in the West
where we tend to be less tactile. However there are many benefits for both
parent and baby: it creates a bond between child and parent, it keeps limbs
flexible, helps with digestive issues and of course is incredibly relaxing and
soothing. It can be particularly helpful for women with post natal depression
who might be having problems relating to their baby.

Beverly runs group
classes or individual classes at the DaVinci Centre and the techniques she uses
are ones which are tried and tested. She says it is best to be shown the
techniques because you do have to be careful with baby joints. There are also
areas on a baby you do not massage and oils you do should not use. Beverly says
“ massage is good for any baby but research shows that massage is particularly
helpful for babies who are born by Caesarean section or premature because these
babies often miss out on that initial touching by their mother after they are
born.”

Katie Hoffman has
twin girls who are now nine months old and she took them to one of Beverly’s
massage sessions when they were six weeks old. “The girls were premature and I
had done some research into baby massage and it said it helps them sleep and
get into routines. Because they were premature I thought it would give them a
boost. I thought, well, I love a good massage, so I figured they would to!”

Katie describes what
happens during a class. “The classes have a small number of people. You sit in
a semi circle with your baby on a blanket and stripped to its diaper. You are
given a bottle of oil with your child’s name in it and Beverly sits in the
middle and shows you what techniques to use on her baby model. The first week
we did the feet, legs and the belly area because the belly massage is very good
for colicky babies.” Katie says that they also would sing as they massaged.
Beverly says that this is about getting a communication going with the baby and  you can see the babies start to move their
own lips as their mother sings.

Beverly moves around
the parents and babies to make sure the techniques are being done correctly as
a movement can be different depending on the size of the baby. For instance
Katie says “One of my daughters was half the size of her twin so the area being
massaged was also smaller.”

Beverly says that
most women see the benefits to their baby immediately in that the baby is more
relaxed and sleeps better. Katie would certainly endorse that, she says that
her daughters loved it, and were sleeping seven to eight hours a night at six
weeks.

As well as
instructing in baby massage, Beverly sees the classes as an opportunity for new
parents to get together and talk to each other and about encouraging a natural
parenting lifestyle. She says “a lot of women on the Island might be away from
family and friends and not have support, so as a mother myself and also a
holistic practitioner I can pass on tips and we all can talk about weaning, how
to make healthy baby food and dealing with things like teething.” Katie found
this  aspect useful and when her babies
were teething she used an alternative remedy recommended by Beverly. “I had
never thought of alternative therapies before this but the homeopathic remedy
for teething really worked.”

Katie has continued
to use the massage techniques and says that one of the things they were taught
is to always make time for the massage. “We were also taught how to massage in
different positions, not just laying them down, you can do it with them sitting
on your lap so that you can always find a time when you can do it.”

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