Having a baby is the most wonderful, joyful and exciting time and nothing can prepare you for the amount of love you feel for this little person that you’ve created.
At the same time it is the most tiring, frustrating and hardest thing you can ever do, no matter how many books you read nothing can prepare you for how much it can turn your life upside down.
All of your priorities change and every waking moment is spent at the beck and call of this tiny human. Trying to decipher their cries and constantly making sure they are dry, fed, happy and getting enough sleep. I remember thinking how strange it was that my life had gone from 24 hour days to 4 hour sections around Ollie’s feeds. And that was my whole life now, a series of 4 hour blocks feeding, changing, activity, sleep- repeat.
It takes time to learn your babies cues, how they like to be held, cuddled, how they like to sleep and what each cry means.
Babies don’t come with a handbook and each baby is different so there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to your babies distress.
Whilst I didn’t struggle with post natal depression, I did struggle. I felt like I had completely lost my identity and personality but knew that I had to learn to figure out who I was in my new role as a mother. You can never go back to who you were because you have changed, you have a baby and they are now the centre of your universe. You just have to figure out who you want to be going forwards and it’s a massive adjustment.
Sleep deprivation is the worst thing about having a new baby as it makes every other tiny task a massive hurdle.
When a baby is born touch is their most powerful sense and is how they communicate with the world around them. Research has shown that babies who aren’t touched, cuddled and have that skin to skin contact in those early days don’t progress as fast and go on to develop attachment issues in their future.
Baby massage is practised from birth in many countries to nurture babies health and wellbeing straight away.
Not only is it great for baby but also for mother too. When a mother massages her baby the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin is released (this is the same rush of love feeling you get when baby is born). The skin to skin contact strengthens that maternal bond and the eye to eye contact builds baby’s trust in you.
Attending a baby massage course gives you a chance to spend some quality one on one time with your baby, just communicating through touch. Massage increases dopamine levels which improves mood and feelings of happiness.
Studies have shown how Baby Massage can greatly improve the mental health and bonding of mothers who suffer with post natal depression. Having regular, close, physical contact with your baby allows you to become more sensitive to their needs and cues. Your baby will start to respond to you a lot easier and it can really strengthen your bond.
Whether you’re suffering with post natal depression or even a bit of anxiety, just leaving the house and meeting other mums can really lift your spirit. Attending a baby massage class can allow you to learn how to better connect with your baby whilst making some new like minded mummy friends and socialise.
For details on Baby Massage courses in Maidstone visit the courses page.
2 Replies to “Baby Massage and Mental Health”
A very nice article. As founder of the International Association of Infant Massage, I am curious; how did you learn and how are you certified to teach?
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Hi Vimala, thank you for reading and commenting. I have a Diploma in Infant Massage taught through a combination of practical assessment, theoretical study and live case study classes. Jen XOXO