Woman teaches parents how to massage infants | PostIndependent.com

Woman teaches parents how to massage infants

Kay VasilakisGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A happy, contented baby is a blessing indeed. Anyone with a colicky baby will tell you they would do anything to relieve the baby’s pain and the stress it brings to the household.When Irma Sanic took her 6-week-old daughter to a baby massage class in South Africa, the baby was experiencing very bad colic. She found the results of the class to be phenomenal, and wanted to pass on the benefits to other moms.

She is now a certified educator in infant massage, trained and certified by the International Association of Infant Massage and a Member of Infant Massage USA. She is also a breast-feeding councilor and is schooled in reflexology.”A gentle and loving baby massage has many benefits for both parents and children,” said Sanic. “The relationship between a parent and baby is enhanced and strengthened through the nurturing touch of infant massage. Parents often find their baby sleeps better, fusses less, and gains more weight when massaged regularly.”Sanic visits families’ homes and teaches the mother to massage her own baby. She does not massage the infant. She instructs the parent on the correct hand placement, encourages parent vocalizations, and which way to stroke a baby’s tummy for digestive calming.Learning infant massage gives parents a focused one-on-one opportunity with their baby, and a number of important elements help intensify the bond between parent and child. These include sharing eye-to-eye contact, skin-to-skin contact, facial expressions, cuddling and smell.

There are no performance standards during infant massage classes. Massage is done at the pace babies are willing to accept. Sanic is well-trained to help guide parents to learn the strokes and cue into their baby’s body language.The benefits of infant massage include relaxation; relief from discomfort of constipation, gas and colic; normalization of muscle tone and improved blood circulation; stimulation of brain development and sensory awareness; and improved sleeping patterns. The visits last between 45 minutes and an hour each, depending on the age of the baby and the needs of both mother and baby. The course is conducted in three to four lessons.

Sanic makes the massage oil, which is 100-percent natural, nonallergenic and edible, in case the baby puts his fingers in his mouth after the massage.The baby massage classes, available in private or group settings, helps parents learn their baby’s language and create an intimate loving relationship. New strokes are introduced in each class so babies are not overstimulated in the first massage class.Dads can learn to massage and participate in this activity, too.

“It’s a wonderful way for dads to spend some quality time with their babies.” said the massage educator. “Oftentimes, fathers get to change their babies’ messy diapers or give them a bath. Massage is a very special time for relaxation and bonding with Dad.”During their first visit, parents receive a packet, which includes an introductory letter, a list of massage stroke techniques in order, routines for colic and constipation, do-not-massage precautions, a bottle of massage oil, and a survey. Various topics are discussed each class to support parents in their new role. “I can’t believe how still she is,” said Shannon Gosda while massaging her 4 1/2 month-old baby girl, Gabrielle, for the first time. “She’s usually moving all around. I’m just amazed.”For more information about baby massage classes, call (970) 456-3617.

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