In Leeds we are hosting our very own Baby Week which has been created by Lucy Potter who is currently a Family Outreach Worker for a community project in Holbeck and Beeston. I have had the pleasure of knowing Lucy for a long time now as she was one of the Family Outreach Workers I used to manage when I worked for a children’s charity in Leeds.
So where did the idea for baby week come from?
Baby week is an adaptation of the Semana do Bebe in Brazil bringing together a wide range of services to support families in our city, provided by voluntary and statutory organisations. Baby week will also provide a platform for the recent Best Start plan, a new policy being implemented throughout Leeds. Since October last year there has been a steering group with representatives from Leeds Beckett University, Child Friendly Leeds (Infant Massage by Emma has signed the pledge), Children Centre Services, Health Visitors, Social Workers, and Home -Start making this the first English speaking country to replicate Semana do Bebe.
The week has been designed to actively engage children and families in their own communities raising awareness of a baby’s important growth and development stages; both brain and physical.
Here at Infant Massage by Emma I have had the opportunity to be involved in the week by encouraging parents across the city to come and access my baby massage courses. I also had the opportunity to attend two lectures at Leeds Beckett University by Robin Balbernie in relation to ‘Relationships, Risks and Repair’ & ‘Circuits and Circumstances’. Such an inspiring lecture which demonstrated the important work our Children’s Centres in Leeds. I know I can be a tad biased on this subject (I manage a children’s centre in Leeds) but it really did show the importance of early intervention with infants and how supporting parents in those initial stages can have a significant impact upon a child’s development and their future. Robin reiterated how important it is that we keep our children’s centre to offer those universal services for all to ensure we can identify those families who may require extra support instead of trying to target families which in turn can have the opposite effect (they won’t engage with the service).
Why not check out the Baby Week Leeds 2016 website to see what fun activities are available for you to access.
So next week in the UK its Infant Massage Awareness Week 2016. I thought it would be a great idea to post some blogs and general posts about baby massage, benefits of attending classes and also there will be some special offers for this week only.
“Baby massage is a long-standing parenting tradition in many cultures, with numerous benefits for both baby and parent. Parents who have attended an IAIM course tell us that some of the many benefits can include:
Strengthening the bond with your baby
Relaxation for both parent and baby
Relief from wind, colic and constipation” (IAIM 2016)
The IAIM programme is one of the most well researched and endorsed programmes here in the UK, accredited by The Royal College of Midwives.
So why not come and join one of my courses and find out for yourselves the many benefits of baby massage.
Great news for Infant Massage by Emma HQ we have just secured a new venue for my baby massage classes at the lovely Mumspace located at Mothercare Crown Point Shopping Park. It’s such a lovely space and great central location to meet with friends who are based all around the city. I can’t wait to get started and meet some lovely new families.
So if you would like to book your place simply book online now via this site :). Its so easy.
It was at the park on Saturday afternoon and came across a new parent out with her 15 week old baby and partner. I overheard a discussion about how her mother had suggested that by instantly picking up her daughter when she cries she was making a rod for her own back. This new mother was in two minds whether this was actually happening and should she pick her up when she cries because she does need something or is telling me something. This poor parent was stuck with what is the right thing to do.
Babies communicate to us through crying, whether that be they need their nappy changing, feeding, in pain etc. As parents we need to be aware of the ways in which are babies are communicating with us and decipher what are their needs? This poor mother had been listening to this advice and felt conflicted. I say you can never cuddle a baby too much but do allow babies that time when they are content to have some time for themselves.
Baby massage is a longstanding parenting tradition in many cultures, including Indian and African, and was introduced to the western world during the last 30 years, gaining in popularity in the UK since the late 1990’s. As the name of the IAIM suggests the programme is global and taught world wide. The same 5 week programme is taught all around the world.
The programme was created by our founder Vimala McClure in 1986. Following her experience of working in an orphanage in northern India in 1973, Vimala brought the traditional practice of infant massage to the West. She has since written many books including Infant Massage – a Handbook for Loving Parents.
The IAIM became an internationally established organisation in 1992 with the help of Audrey Downes, a registered nurse and IAIM Instructor, and other dedicated IAIM Instructors, who helped Vimala to begin the Association. The United States held the International Office until 1992, when it was moved to Sweden and the first IAIM Bylaws were introduced.
The programme of training for CIMI’s is quite intense and now undergo four days of training. This combines theory and practical skills of learning the massage strokes on a demonstration doll. The examination process includes observation, journals and a written assessment. Once qualified CIMI’s are able to use the IAIM registered trademark. CIMI’s must also keep up their professional membership with the IAIM which enables them to access further training, study days and access the to the Annual General Assembly. CIMI’s are kept up to date with latest research and share this with our families in our classes.
This is why it is so important for you to research your CIMI’s and they can be found on the IAIM website for their local areas. This will allow you to know who has kept up to their professional memberships.
The IAIM is a special programme which once taught can be used for a long long time.
Exciting news here at Infant Massage by Emma. In September I will be attending the Children’s Reflexology Programme and cannot wait to get started. I’ve been doing quite a bit of research and there are lots of benefits to reflexology not only for babies but children too.
“The Children’s Reflexology Programme is a short course of fun workshops where parents, carers and children get together to learn how to use a gentle non-invasive complementary therapy to empower themselves in times of stress and distress throughout childhood and beyond. The course uses a collection of delightful rhymes, pictures and stories to engage children and teach the simple reflexology. The programme is delivered by specially qualified instructors and is supported by high quality materials including the lovely book, The Mouse’s House. There is a special version of the course for parents of children with additional needs”.
Once I have trained courses will be available to book so if you do have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me further.
I just wanted to reinforce the point to prospective parents when selecting their baby massage courses to ensure they choose course which are 5 weeks long. Since training over 7 years ago their is a real importance to following the comprehensive programme which we have been trained to deliver. I see some many CIMI’s offering 4 week courses which goes against all the research the IAIM UK Chapter carried out which highlighted the impact of the extra week in terms of their baby’s response to massage. There are so many other importance factors which need to be considered. It’s so surprising to see 4 week courses in the area but actually the importance and main factor is the small baby in all of this and we need to ensure we put them first in all of this. As you can probably tell this is something which I am really passionate about and working with families and their children for over 12 years it is so important we have these children at the forefront of our minds.
Pleased to announce new courses will be delivered at Elev8 Dance in Horsforth starting Friday 29th July between 2-3pm. Places are available to book now via my courses page. Places are limited to 10 so booking is essential. Plus there is no extra charge for twins.
Courses are just £40 and include organic massage oil, manual to support with massaging your baby at home and a certificate of attendance upon completion of the course.
Received a lovely review yesterday from Maya at The Laila Milly Foundation. I had the honour of delivering a baby massage course to the children and families who attend their centre. I can honestly say I had such a fantastic 5 weeks with the families.
Maya McCormack “I can highly recommend Emma for baby/infant massage. She held a course at a children’s centre that I run for children with additional needs & tailored the massages to suit the children’s needs. Emma is really lovely too!”
Thank you so much. This is why I enjoy my work so much knowing what an impact you can make upon families.
I received a lovely telephone call yesterday to ask if I would like to be a part of a children’s festival taking place in Leeds at Harewood House in May. I cannot say how delighted I am to asked and have the opportunity to share my experiences and baby massage at this festival. It’s a two day festival and I will be delivering sessions throughout the day across both days. Thinking back a year ago and where I was just starting out delivering sessions to now being asked to be a part of services is truly amazing! I cannot thank all my fabulous families for their support over the past year and look forward to meeting many more.
If you would like to read more information about the festival please visit their website: