The Benefits of Baby Massage by Bethan Williams

Did you know that the 7th of June is International Positive Touch and Infant Massage day? I have to admit that I wasn’t aware of this but fortunately one of our readers knows a lot about it and she was keen to share an article on Mam Cymru to discuss the benefits of Infant Massage,

Bethan Williams is the Mum and founder of Amser Babi Cymraeg. As part of her bilingual services she offers baby massage courses. She is passionate about baby massage and encourages parents to attend  one of the IAIM (International Association of Infant Massage) massage courses, available throughout Wales through NHS services, Flying Start and self-employed individuals

I’ve always had an interest in parent/child relationships and with this in view my aim in life has always been to make a positive difference. As we know, babies and children need plenty of loving care and positive attention in order to grow into happy and healthy adults.

Although I was born in Liverpool, England, my parents moved to Wales when I was young and they ensured that I had every opportunity to be bilingual in Welsh and English. I’m so grateful that they made this decision. I now want to share my passion of the Welsh language and bilingualism with other families. This is what inspired me to set up Amser Babi Cymraeg – abc – Activities for Babies and Children and I now run bilingual Baby Massage, Baby Yoga, Baby Swimming and Story and Rhyme time sessions in North East Wales.

There are lots of ways in which a parent can stimulate bonding with their new-born baby, but the important thing is to spend lots of quality time together, connecting with one another and being sensitive to baby’s needs. Making eye contact, talking to them and observing their facial responses and body language, singing and reading to them, and by communicating with them through loving touch; these are all ways to connect and provide positive, sensitive attention. The 6 week IAIM Baby Massage course is an ideal way for parents to develop these skills. I offer one to one sessions, mixed group classes and fathers only sessions.

Infant massage allows parents to experience the delights of bonding and attachment during the most sensitive period of their baby’s social and emotional development. I consider myself fortunate to have trained with the IAIM as their courses create a practical setting for bonding and attachment to develop; and I’m incredibly proud to be the Wales Regional Representative of an association whose work continues to set the gold standard in matters of infant touch communication and child development.

I have recently had the opportunity to translate the IAIM information leaflets that are offered to parents and I am grateful to Cymraeg Byd Busnes (Welsh in Business) and the Welsh Language Commissioner’s correction service for their help in ensuring the linguistic accuracy of the leaflets. This Welsh version is now available on the web for CIMIs (Certified Infant Massage Instructors) to download directly from the association’s website.

I am respectful of all cultures and creeds. I feel a deep compassion for all people. The feedback I have received from parents often refer to the joy they feel during my sessions, and the positive impact this has had on their relationship with others.

“Bethan is just a wonderful and amazing woman who teaches you much more than you actually came for. She provides a very positive atmosphere in which you can bond with your little one and meet other mums. Bethan loves what she does and you can feel it in every session. They are full of joy and no matter how bad your day was till then, it will be better after a session with Bethan and a baby that squeaks of joy.” Anni Holch (Mother)

I am proud to be a CIMI encouraging closer bonds from birth onwards. I have extensive experience liaising with clients, teachers and nurses and I volunteer as a Positive Birth Movement facilitator in North East Wales and Chester.

Enjoying the experience of a massage with your baby is a wonderful way to connect and build a valuable bond.  To find an IAIM-certified infant massage practitioner in your area, please visit www.iaimbabymassage.co.uk

By Bethan Williams.

Mam Cymru would like to thank Bethan for the article and for educating us about baby massage and her other fantastic services. If you have a story or an idea to share, contact us on mam@mamcymru.wales

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