New mums have been sharing the benefits of a baby massage course for both them and their newborns.
Baby massage sessions specifically for neonatal babies at Colchester Hospital offer support to parents and are helping to provide special bonding time too.
The aim of the five-week course, held in the Iceni Centre, is to promote health and at the same time teach baby massage techniques to help relax and calm newborn babies. This can potentially reduce associated mental health concerns in parents too, which has been found to be linked with neonatal unit admissions.
Julia Michael, nursery nurse on Colchester Hospital’s Neonatal Unit is running the sessions.
She said: “These parents may have a future of frequent hospital visits so it’s important to provide a positive side to their experience of the hospital.
“It’s also a chance for parents to share their experiences and support each other after what, for some of them, has been a traumatic time.
“We want it to continue and for it to be as good as it can be. We hope we can offer it more as after care as I think it’s really important to bridge the bonding interruption.”
What mums say
Kerry Rowley attended the course with her baby Olivia who’s now three months old. She was born four weeks early and spent nine days on the Neonatal Unit at Colchester Hospital.
She said: “Olivia found it really relaxing, it’s something I’d definitely do again. There are people here that were on the unit at the same time as us, so it’s nice to get out and see people you recognise.”
Mum-of-four Amy Schearman said she found the sessions “really helpful”. Her baby Esme was born six weeks premature. She’s now 13 weeks old.
Amy said: “It helps with bonding. Her being premature was traumatic and you don’t really get the firsts like other mothers do.
“She’s my first premature baby out of four and when you are with other premature babies it’s helpful to know the milestones not reached is quite normal.”
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