Shelley & Martin: Find out how IAIM Baby Massage helped our baby's emotional, social and physiological development, born six weeks early, whilst helping us to take dedicated time-out to connect as a family. #IMHAW18
Introducing Sunflower Family, Shelley, Martin and Baby Willow!
Shelley, Martin and baby Willow completed a one-to-one Sunflower Baby Massage course, in May 2017 when Willow was just 36 weeks. Find out how their positive nurturing touch and gentle massage strokes helped to support and enhance Willow's social, emotional and physical development and what this very special one-to-one time together has meant for Shelley, Martin and Willow as a family.
Mum, Shelley says...
An early arrival!
But when Willow came along six weeks early, she was so tiny, and we were aware of the risk (albeit it very low) of developmental problems, because she’d arrived before her brain and other organs had developed to full term.
We needed to learn how to help her develop healthy, secure attachments, in order to support normal social and emotional development, and reduce the risk of her developing feelings of shyness, insecurity and anxiety, amongst other things.
Relaxing one-on-one time
Martin and I both spent individual one-on-one time with Willow and our IAIM baby massage practitioner, as well as together as a family. It became part of our family routine, time we looked forward to every week, and was the most special time and beautiful experience, which Willow responded to amazingly. We noticed how much it relaxed her and chilled her out, as we practised the different strokes on her with relaxation breathing techniques, and spent mindful time communicating together as a family through eye contact, loving touch and talk. Not only that but it also helped with physiological issues, such as wind and silent reflux. It also helped to calm and relax us!
I would strongly recommend that all new parents embrace infant massage, especially if their baby is premature. This was the best start we could’ve given little Willow and our family, and which I have no doubt has put really positive foundations in place for healthy development”.
Dedicated Dad time to get involved and connect, what Martin says....
“As a Dad, it was really important to me to find ways to get involved with Willow as much as I could. I wanted to spend quality time with her, so that we could bond, and so that I could help her as much as possible in her development. The baby massage sessions took place on a Saturday, which meant that I could have this special dedicated time with Willow, completely focused on her - and on us as a family, with no interruptions or distractions. It helped us all to connect, chill out and relax, and it taught Shelley and I a range of non-invasive techniques, which we took away with us and have continued to use in practise with Willow, which often serve as a brilliant way of transitioning her between bath and bedtime.
The great thing about the private sessions we had with our IAIM-practitioner, was that she came to us: all of the sessions took place in Willow’s nursery, and so she has come to associate this space with feeling calm and safe.
A rewarding experience for new Dad's...
It can be more challenging as a Dad to feel involved with your baby, but what baby massage gave to me was this very real sense of involvement and connection. It’s the most rewarding experience and one which I would highly recommend to all new Dads.”
One year on and Willow continues to enjoy her massage time...
What a little cutie!!
Willow turns One!
With Special Thanks....
A great big Thank you to Shelley, Martin and Baby Willow for taking the time to share their Infant Massage journey so beautifully with us, as part of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2018, and big Thanks to the lovely Sarah Egerton at the International Association of Infant Massage for putting this wonderful case study together.
Brought to you by the International Association of Infant Massage and Emma Lindell, Infant Massage Lead for Dorset Parent Infant Partnership and owner of Sunflower Baby Massage
It's Infant Mental Health Awareness Week
10th - 16th of June 2018