Families Bond Through Infant Massage
Today’s post comes from Baltimore-based massage therapist, Jessie Bernstein, LMT, BCTMB, CEIM. You can find Jessie teaching infant massage classes at Greenberries or providing therapeutic massage at Indigo Physio.
Nurture. Compassion. Intention. All of these are vital components when connecting with another form of life. Infant massage is one of the best ways to start introducing this lesson to our young ones. It’s such a fabulous way to initiate bonding between parent and infant. What I love about infant massage is that it benefits all parents and babies, including those with special needs. Infant massage is a remarkable resource for birth parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, single parents, and other caregivers being a part of an infant’s development.
As an infant massage instructor, one of the biggest impacts I have seen has truly been from witnessing fathers eagerly participate. Before dads attend the class, many struggle with confidence when tending to their newborns. They want to feel nurturing, and supportive, but often feel a lack of connection since babies are so dependent on their mothers, particularly early on.
A father’s relationship with baby differs from mom’s in some ways, but they can build a nurturing relationship through different means. By learning touch, infant massage not only gives dads an esteem boost, but supports an established connection and enhances bonding. Touch is one of the most amazing forms of nonverbal communication, and is a valuable tool for the entire family to use. It’s such a pleasure to see the smiles and confidence grow in my students with each class, and the moms gleam with joy knowing their little one is connecting with dad.
Some of the benefits to the infant include:
- helping with constipation and gas
- body awareness
- sensory stimulation
- improved sleep
- improved digestion.
My infant massage classes are laid back and informal to help you feel confident, and to prepare you with supportive techniques and encouragement. This 4-week series covers different topics each week and all of the supplies are included. Classes are currently being taught at Indigo Physio in Baltimore City. I also offer families private classes in the comfort of your own home. I encourage both parents or a parent and a caregiver, who has an active role in the infant’s care, to attend the series. In my experience, the whole family not only benefits, but also enjoys the class and time together.
If you are interested in learning more about Jessie and her services, she can be reached at 410.493.0196 or you can email her at jab.massage at gmail dot com.