What is Infant Massage

Touch:

Touch is the first sense to be developed in utero. It is the only sense without which we cannot survive. Babies are totally dependent on their parents’ or caretakers’ nurturing touch. During infant massage, parents rhythmically stroke their baby and thereby stimulate the sense of touch.

What is Infant (baby) Massage?

This is a traditional parenting practice where generations of mothers have offered this nurturing touch to their babies. It gives a loving connection between the parents and their baby starting out very early in life.

The massage strokes are easy to learn and research has shown many benefits for both babies and parents.

The Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) uses a doll to teach the parent(s) the massage strokes while the parent(s) are practicing the strokes on their baby.

About Infant (baby) Massage:

The International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) was founded by Vimela McClure, USA, and was the first such global organization. Vimela was the first person to put together a professional programme. Her practical experience was introduced in 1976 and in 1992 the IAIM became internationally recognized

The role of the Certified Infant Massage Instructor:

To facilitate and enhance the loving relationship between baby and parents by teaching parents how to massage their baby.

The benefits for the baby:

  1. Interaction (bonding, one-on-one quality time with your baby)
  2. Stimulation (all major bodily systems e.g. circulatory, digestive, immune, lymphatic)
  3. Relief (pain, colic, constipation, skin disorders)
  4. Relaxation (increased levels of oxytocin and reduced levels of cortisol)

How are the classes run?

The course runs over 5 weeks, one session per week, lasting 60-90 minutes, usually on a week day between 10:00-11:30am. The course is for one or both parents and their baby, from birth to 12 months of age.

What is CranioSacral therapy?

CranioSacral therapy is a very gentle, yet, extremely powerful, hands-on technique that relaxes, energises and restores balance to the central nervous system (CNS). It works with the body’s CranioSacral system, which consist of:

  • The membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord
  • The attached bones, including the skull, face and mouth which make up the cranium
  • The tailbone area, or sacrum

About CranioSacral therapy

The CranioSacral therapist is trained to “listen” to the pulsation/rhythm of the body and, through specific movement techniques (very subtle manipulations), to adjust the segments of the body gently. The therapist looks for and identifies areas of restriction, compression, or tension throughout the body.

CranioSacral therapy and me:

CranioSacral therapy was developed by John Upledger, D.O. in the 1970s, as an offshoot osteopathy in the cranial field, or cranial osteopathy, which was developed in the 1930s by William Garner Sutherland.

I was trained in The Netherlands through the Upledger Institute, by teachers who were trained by Dr. John Upledger in the USA, in the mid-1980s.

 What is the goal of CranioSacral therapy?

The goal is to determine the cause of a condition and then to eliminate the cause.

The therapy itself does not heal the person but it promotes the body’s own healing mechanisms to improve the functioning of the CNS. It focuses on facilitating the body to correct itself and to go back to homeostasis.

Who benefits from CranioSacral therapy?

CranioSacral therapy can help most people, with most conditions, from minor aches and pains to severe and persistent chronic health problems. It is suitable for all ages, from newborn babies to the elderly. It is particularly valuable in babies and children since the establishment of healthy patterns at an early age ensures healthy patterns for the future. It is also renowned for its profound influence on the effects of birth trauma.

If the skull bones are not properly aligned, this may result in dysfunction of the palate, tongue, and other structures of the head which are needed for sucking. This may cause the palate to be too high or pushed forward, or the facial muscles to be too tight.  Birth trauma and ill-matched structures of the head can cause constant irritation to the nervous system which in turn may cause hypersensitivity in these infants which can sometimes be the underlying cause for these babies to have a gag reflex or have difficulty suckling and feeding.

How many sessions are needed?

The number of sessions needed depends, among other factors, on the complex layers of injury and trauma that may mask the original cause of the problem as well as the body’s defence mechanisms. However, babies and children often only need a few sessions which last no longer than 30 minutes each time.

Midwife and Lactation Consultant services
  1. Childbirth Education classes: these either take place once a week during an evening and run over a 4 to 5-week period Or they can take place on a Saturday or Sunday morning OR they may take place over a weekend (Saturday and Sunday). Classes vary from an 8-hour course to a 10-hour course and take place in Claremont, 35 Wilderness road. Please check my Facebook page for dates and details.

An example of the topics which will be covered are:

  • Natural birth
  • Assisted birth (vacuum and forceps deliveries)
  • Caesarean section
  • Stages of labour
  • What to expect in the last trimester?
  • What to expect in the first few days after birth?
  • Induction
  • Postnatal blues/depression
  • Pain relief during labour
  • Hormones
  • Jaundice
  • Breastfeeding and milk supply
  • Engorgement
  • Expressing milk (manually and pumping)
  • Bathing your baby
  • Colic
  • Weighing your baby, growth charts and the Road to Health booklet
  • Vaccinations
  • Introducing solids
  • Crying – what is normal?
  • When to get help?
  • Back to work

 

  1. Post-partum home and/or hospital visitsDuring a visit, the following may take place:
  • History taking and documentation
  • Observation of a feed
  • Breast examination
  • Physical assessment of your baby, including the mouth
  • Weighing of your baby before and after a feed
  • Give (ongoing) support and answer any questions you may have
  • In case of difficulty latching/feeding: Identify, treat and eliminate the cause
  • Provide evidence based practice
  • Referral to other health care workers if necessary

The services offered as a lactation consultant also include:

  • Nipple or breast pain
  • Engorgement
  • Thrush
  • Assessment of tongue tie/ lip tie
  • Recurring blocked ducts (plugged duct/ nipple bleb)
  • Low milk supply
  • Baby’s slow weight gain
  • Pumping and feeding expressed milk
  • Breastfeeding after breast surgery
  • Breastfeeding under difficult circumstances (Downs, cleft lip etc.)
  • Return to work – what to do now?

 

  1. Post-natal (coffee morning) discussion groups: These usually take place twice a month for (new) moms and dads. Please check my Facebook page about the topics that will be discussed and what the morning will look like (possible guest speaker or workshop)

 

  1. Antenatal and Postnatal workshops and talks: These usually take place once a month during the week on a morning or evening  or on a Saturday morning. Please check my Facebook page about the topics that will be discussed and what the morning will look like (possible guest speaker or workshop).