Thanks so much for visiting my site and taking the time to find out a bit more.
I'm Sarah, and I live in North London on the borders of Stroud Green and Crouch End with my partner and 3 children.
I have been teaching baby massage courses in Crouch End and Tottenham since 2017, when I completed level 5 training with the National Childbirth Trust (NCT). The baby massage courses I took with my own children gave me lots of confidence in handling, soothing and comforting them, and really strengthened the bond between us – the older ones still enjoy massage as they approach tween-age. As the parent of a baby born just before the first national lockdown, I appreciate the importance of parents having the opportunity to share experiences with others at a similar stage in life, as well as to spend some uninterrupted quality time with their baby.
I find my work with parents and babies stimulating and heart-warming. It is a privilege to see the babies develop from week to week, sometimes rolling for the first time in a session, or interacting with another baby in a way their carer hasn't seen before. When a parent hears from another that they are not alone in their worries, is helped by another to think around a difficulty, or reveals that using massage techniques has made a palpable difference to their week, I am delighted that the classes can have such a positive effect.
I also volunteer for the Breastfeeding Network (BfN) as a peer supporter at the Whittington Hospital, and worked as an NCT antenatal teacher 2015-2020, for which I hold a Cert HE Birth and Beyond from the University of Worcester. I undertake ongoing continuing professional development, and regularly observe and am observed by my colleagues. My other qualifications are a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from City & Guilds of London Art School and a BA (Hons) in Modern History & French from Merton College, Oxford.
I am a founding member of the Birth & Beyond Collective, a group of NCT-trained yoga for pregnancy, parent & baby yoga, and baby massage teachers. We practice across the UK, and are highly passionate and committed to delivering high quality classes for pregnant women and new mums and babies.
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My baby massage is based on NCT training, but I work and am insured as an independent practitioner.
What are the benefits of Baby Massage?
Recent research has found that parents learning baby massage feel their babies experience healthier growth and development, improved sleep, relief of stress and promotion of relaxation; that baby massage improves the development of babies with Down syndrome; and that giving a baby a hug during painful procedures reduces pain.
Learning baby massage techniques has been shown to support parent-infant bonding, help mitigate the effects of postnatal depression, support mothers struggling with the transition to motherhood, and help both mothers and fathers respond to baby cues, care for their babies, and gain support from their spouse and other parents.
Parents on my courses talk about valuing:
one to one time, bonding with their baby and getting to know what their baby likes
seeing their baby enjoy being with other babies and smiling during massage
developing resilience as first-time parents and confidence to enjoy time with their baby
learning the massage techniques and songs as a new skill to use at home
exploring topics that are really useful
the opportunity to connect with other parents and share experiences in a way that makes them feel they’re not alone
looking forward each week to spending time in a relaxing, supportive environment
What is Story Massage?
Baby Story Massage uses 10 simple massage strokes to combine the creativity of story, song and rhyme with the benefits of positive touch. Its flexibility means it can be adapted to existing favourite stories and rhymes, or families can create their own bespoke stories. Skills learnt in the sessions can be used with anyone we know who would benefit from positive touch, whether other children in the family, relatives for whom we care, our partners, friends, or for ourselves as self-massage.
The model is similar to Baby Massage in that children are massaged by the grownup they bring with them, but no oil is used, so clothes do not need to be removed. In sessions, we spend about half our time massaging the children, and the other half on the adults, with guided relaxations, and using Story Massage to explore themes around parenting, identity and self-care.
I carried out my training with the creators of Story Massage.
I am an accredited Story Massage Instructor.