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 husband and 3 children, aged 10, 8 and 1.
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 classes I attended with my two older children gave me lots of confidence in handling, soothing and comforting them, and really strengthened the bond between us – they still enjoy massage as they approach tween-age. The last year of lockdowns has given me a renewed appreciation of how important it is for parents to have 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 make such a positive difference.
I am also an NCT antenatal teacher, running birth and parenting preparation classes in Tottenham, for which I hold a Cert HE Birth and Beyond from the University of Worcester, and I volunteer for the Breastfeeding Network (BfN) as a peer supporter at the Whittington Hospital, although I am currently on a break from these last two roles to care for my youngest child. I undertake ongoing continuing professional development, most recently (remotely) attending Nancy Mohrbacher's lecture for the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain, "A History of Positioning and Attachment" and the BfN Annual Conference; I regularly observe and am observed by my NCT 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.
Although my baby massage courses are based on NCT training, I now run them independently, since the Covid 19 pandemic saw NCT narrow the range of services it could offer.
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