Massaging your baby. Top tips from The Nurtured Nest

Massaging your baby. Top tips from The Nurtured Nest

When and where should I massage my baby? Questions that I get asked frequently during baby massage classes. Every family is different so there isn’t a perfect time that suits everyone. Below are my top tips for finding the right time and creating the right environment for you.

The Environment

Find an area for your massage where you are unlikely to be disturbed so that you can focus all of your attention on your baby.

Make sure that the area is warm and that there are no drafts. Young babies can get cold easily and wont enjoy massage if they are cold.

In class we find that no or very soft lighting helps to calm babies. Bright overhead lights can be very stimulating and can make it hard for babies to relax.

Its no essential but you might like to play a piece of relaxing music to help both you and baby relax. We play the same music in class each week to help babies relax and so that they begin to associate the music with a massage. After a while you may find that your baby starts to relax as soon as the music is played if you always play the same piece.

 

Would your baby like a massage?

Ask them! Massage is something we do with our baby and not to our baby.

If your baby is tired or hungry they are unlikely to enjoy a massage. If your baby has just fed and has a full tummy it might be best to wait an hour before massaging them as a massage on a full tummy can be uncomfortable.

 

The time of day

Some people like to massage their baby after a bath, just before bed. This can be a lovely part of your bedtime routine and can help to relax baby before bed. If your baby is keen for a feed straight after the bath or wants to go straight to bed massaging your baby will not be relaxing for either of you. If this is case then try a massage mid morning or mid afternoon and see if that works better for you.

You don’t need to massage your baby at the same time each day or massage your baby every day. Pick times and days that work for you.

 

How long should I massage my baby for?

Another frequently asked question. In class we normally massage the babies for around 30 minutes. In a group setting this allows time for all of the babies to relax and for me to guide you through each stroke. At home you don’t need to set aside 30 minutes every time you massage your baby. If you only have 10 minutes you could focus on massaging one area of your baby. For example you could massage your baby’s legs after changing their nappy or their tummy after a bath.

During our classes we teach some easy to follow strokes to help boost your confidence with massaging your baby. To find out more information please click here

 

She believed She could so she did

Planning, Preparing and Practicing for Birth

“She believed she could so she did”

Fantastic quote and I see it written everywhere, especially with regards to birth but I want to mix things up a bit.

Would just believing that you could help you to run a marathon? Or climb a mountain? Might you prepare in other ways?

A positive mental attitude is hugely important and such an important part of giving birth. Its just the beginning. You can also plan, prepare and practice for your birth to give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to have a positive birth.

Educate and Empower yourself. Understand what your choices are and have the confidence to speak up and question things in order to be able to make informed decisions.

Give yourself the tools to be able to stay calm and manage intense sensations during birth. For example in MummyNatal we teach mindful breathing, visualisation, birth ball movements, vocalisation, meditations and much more.

Surround yourself with a supportive team. Your antenatal teacher, birth partner/s, midwife, doctor and any other birth companions all have a key role to play in supporting you to have the birth you want. Be sure that they are clear of your plans for your birth and are able to support you with this.

Practice what you have learnt. Practicing any new skills and techniques that you have learnt will increase your confidence and build them into your memory so that they become second nature when the time comes.

Don’t just hope for a good birth, prepare for one.

When should I start Antenatal classes?

When should I start antenatal classes?

This is probably one of my most frequently asked questions and there isn’t a single answer.

We don’t group MummyNatal courses by due date as this would restrict you to coming to just one course. Some mums will come to just one course whilst others will want to come to two or maybe three courses before their baby is born

Our ethos is about CHOICE. You can join a MummyNatal course whenever feels right for YOU.

Some mums will join very early on in their pregnancy. The mindful breathing practice we teach in MummyNatal helps to reduce anxiety and stress and helps us to feel calm. This can be really valuable during early pregnancy if you are feeling anxious. Some mums like to wait until they have had the reassurance of their 12 week scan and will start antenatal classes at some point in their second trimester of pregnancy.  MummyNatal courses run in 6 week blocks and mums may join us for 2 or 3 courses. All of the skills that we teach get easier with practice and attending more than one course gives you the real chance to learn what works for you and to individualise things to suit you. Other mums may choose wait until 6-8 weeks before their baby is due and attend one birth preparation course. They still really benefit from the course and everything is fresh in their mind.

If you are unsure about when in your pregnancy to join an antenatal course. Speak to your teacher. You can join a MummyNatal course at any stage of your pregnancy but other courses may ask that you wait until after your first trimester. When I speak to mums I advise that if they think that they will benefit from the classes now they are more than welcome to join now and if they tried a class and decided that they wanted to wait a little longer to finish the course then that is absolutely fine. If you only have 4 weeks left before your due date and you are unsure if you can join a class of a longer duration I would also advise that you speak to your antenatal teacher. I offer pay as you go classes for mums who are due before the course finishes.

So my very long answer to your question is there is no right or wrong time. If you are starting to think about your birth or are feeling anxious and would like some tips and skills on how to cope contact your antenatal teacher and see what they have to say. Don’t be afraid of asking to join early in your pregnancy or asking to join a course that ends after your due date. Mums in my courses meet other mums who are due before, after and around the same time as them and make great friends build a really valuable support network.

You can find out more about MummyNatal courses here

October 16 Newsletter

October Newsletter

Our October Newsletter is here. Put the kettle on, get cozy and find out whats been happening at the Nurtured Nest this month

 

You can read our October newsletter by clicking Here