‘Help Me Grow’ offering infant massage classes at health department


Massaging your baby is a beautiful and loving way to begin a lifelong relationship. Infant massage is a preventive program that provides loving touch right from the start.

Understanding and beginning touch early in life can improve the quality of parenting and family life and promote the well-being of the infant. Infant massage contains such critical elements of bonding as eye-to-eye contact, smiling, soothing vocal sounds, loving touch, smell and mutual interaction. Studies show that bonding increases a parent’s feeling of attachment as well as the desire to nurture and care for their infant.

Help Me Grow and Cindy Hayes, certified infant massage instructor and licensed occupational therapist, will offer infant massage classes at the Fayette County Health Department. These will be most appropriate for parents with children between the ages of 6 weeks through pre-crawling (usually about 9 months).

BENEFITS FOR BABY

– Emotionally nourishes the baby

– Enhances bonding and attachment

– Helps to strengthen and regulate the baby’s primary systems (respiratory, circulatory, nervous, musculature and gastrointestinal, enhances immune system)

– Reduces gas and colic and allows baby to sleep better – helps with constipation

– Decreases irritability and excessive crying

– Helps baby to relax and release the tensions of daily stimuli

BENEFITS FOR PARENTS

– Promotes better understanding of infant cues

– Enhances communication and emotional ties

– Increases confidence and handling skills

– Helps parents unwind and relax

– Increases vocalization and direct eye-contact

– Gives fathers a special time to connect and bond

CLASSES SCHEDULED

– Thursday, Feb. 8 at 10:30 a.m.

– Thursday, March 22 at 10:30 a.m.

– Thursday, March 22 at 6 p.m.

Classes last about an hour to an hour and a half. Parents will receive a bottle of massage oil and a book that explains the strokes.

WHAT TO BRING TO CLASS

– Soft comfortable blanket

– Extra cloth diapers or small towel

– Normal baby gear and maybe special toy

– Stimulated babies get hungry, so be prepared to feed

– Dress baby in easy to remove clothing

– You will be sitting on the carpet so you may want to bring a pillow to sit on

AT NO COST TO THE PUBLIC

Why not try something that would help everyone to relax, and decrease crying time – who would pass that up? So if you are interested, please call Laura in the Help Me Grow office at 740-335-5111 to register. Class sizes are limited and registration is required.