Touch is the first and most vital sensory experience. Research shows that our earliest experiences with touch can affect every aspect of our lives. Nurturing touch (or the lack of it) can impact the way we think, feel and relate to others.
Infant massage uses gentle, tactile stimulation and loving verbal communication to deepen the relationship between parents and their baby. It is a shared experience, done with the baby not to the baby. The strokes used can be both stimulating and relaxing, depending on each baby's needs and developmental level. It is easy to learn and facilitates positive interactions with your baby.
Baby massage can be learnt and performed by mums, dads, grandparents and carers – anyone with a close association to the infant.
Benefits of infant massage
- Improves communication between you and baby
- Enhances bonding
- Relaxes and soothes
- Helps relieve colic and tummy discomfort
- Stimulates physiological development
- Promote neurological development and sensory integration
- Offers shared moments together
- Is Fun!
Why attend a ‘First Touch’ class?
The First Touch Program is the fully accredited course of the International Association of Infant Massage and is the only infant massage program available in Australia that has been fully researched and evaluated.
There really is no substitute for learning to massage your baby with an IAIM Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI). The strokes and styles of massage are easier to grasp when demonstrated by an experienced instructor. Pressure, rate, rhythm, the length of the massage, respect, bonding, why baby cries, baby's body language, relaxation and parent empowerment are some of the skills and topics you will learn.
Thanks to Newcastle doula Lindsay Hinchey for these images
Five-part weekly course
The five-week course is run over a period of five sessions, usually 1.5 hours each (depending on the babies). Classes are kept to a small number to allow you quality instruction time, and there is time to have a cuppa with the other participants at the end.
The course is a relaxed hands-on program. There’s no pressure for babies to be in the mood for a massage, and there are demonstration dolls to practice on. Babies are welcome in class whether they’re noisy or quiet. You can settle or change your baby in the middle of class knowing that notes are provided and revision of the massage techniques is covered.
What to bring?
Your ‘First Touch’ instructor will provide you with the certified organic, cold pressed vegetable oil we will be using for infant massage.
All you need to provide is:
- a pillow or soft mat or blanket to lie on (change table mats can work well but not essential)
- a towel
- extra nappies
- anything else your baby may like
Please wear comfortable clothing yourself.
Classes are being run in Maitland and Newcastle, but can be organised anywhere in the Hunter for a private class or a group who can provide a venue (usually someone's home) *Free classes for the host!
- Open class in Maitland (max 6): $120 for the five-week program.
- Mothers' group: Free for the host who organises a group of at least 4 others (can be more) and provides a venue for the class (could be a home, library, community centre, cafe, etc). $120 each for the other participants.
- Private classes for parent or carer and bub in your home: $250 for the five-week program.
- Gift vouchers are available. Contact us for details.