By Steph Bradley, Owner, Gymboree Play & Music Jersey and Gymboree Play & Music UK Operations & Programme Manager
I never realised the impact Baby Massage would have on my baby. Having trained as an IAIM instructor and taught baby massage for over a year, I had seen many babies come and go and absolutely love the sessions. However, it wasn’t until I had my own little girl that I have really seen the amazing benefits and impact this simple massage could have.
My daughter was born 5 days after my due date and after a challenging labour, spent 4 days in the amazing Special Care Baby Unit at Jersey General Hospital. After 9 months of waiting to meet her, we were so delighted to have the most perfect little girl. For the first 2 days, Edie spent her time in an incubator where she was having a little help with oxygen. As a first time mum, this was quite tough as all I wanted to do was get her out and take her with me – as all mothers know, the first few days can be challenging with all those emotions and hormones flying about!
I decided that I would practice what I had been preaching for the last year and placed my hands in the incubator on my baby’s leg. It was amazing … I instantly started crying with happiness. The bond I felt at this moment was incredible. Although I couldn’t get my baby out and hug her, I was still able to have that same special moment. From then on we continued with this still touch until we were able to progress into the massage. From 1 week old my little girl has been having her massage every night before bed and she absolutely loves it. After 10 weeks, we finally managed to get daddy to have a go and we now do the massage together every night. The joy on her face when we rub our hands with coconut oil above her face is priceless.
Touch is something that we all have the ability to use. It is the first sense we experience when in our mother’s womb and the last sense to leave us when we pass.