New moms face a lot of changes, … when the baby is born there is the first rush of love and then everything will be okay. In reality hard work starts when the baby enters the world. At this point a pause can help mom and baby to truly connect.
This is why we sent one of our mom reviewers, Ashley to Mellow Baby massage classes.
It’s the morning of our last baby massage class. I’m packing lunches for my twin six year old daughters while cheering on our one daughter, Alice, who is successfully feeding our eight month old son pears and apples. It’s always a little crazy in our house before the bus comes but recently, Friday mornings I’ve squeezed in a little time to get myself public ready too, knowing that I actually get to leave the house with Ben and go somewhere that feels like a little escape.
When I was given the opportunity to join Jenni’s baby massage class, I excitedly accepted. Having twins six years ago was fun, yet kind of insane and definitely left no space for actual “baby and me” type classes. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew it would be nice to be around other moms of new babies again.
Jenni’s classes are held in the Manotick United Church basement and it is a very welcoming and pleasant space. When I arrive, Jenni has massage mats set up in a circular arrangement, each with a set of freshly washed soft toys, massage oil and a fleece blanket. The main lighting is off and she has artificial candles and strings of twinkly lights as well as a warming light. I set Ben’s car seat down and Jenni asks me what kind of tea I would like. I will now admit that this is one of my favourite parts of the class. There is just something about being a busy mom to a baby, and someone else making you a drink. It is amazing.
In addition, Jenni always provides a snack – homemade muffins or little chocolates or cookies which is always a nice treat. She begins the class with a little icebreaker – which I appreciate, going around and asking everyone to share a little about what is new this week. I love the energy of being around other new moms – I always find it makes everything feel like less of a big deal.
The class then starts with a short relaxation sequence for us moms. I am often juggling a squirmy Ben (because at eights months, he wants to see and do everything), but the reminder is enough to calm me right down. Next we start in with the baby massage. Jenni prompts us with either words to say or songs to sing while we massage different parts of our babies. “Down the slide” is definitely my favourite.
It is a very low pressure class and anything goes. Have a hungry baby, go ahead and feed. Need to change that diaper, go ahead and do that right there (or feel free to sneak away if that makes you more comfortable). The class just continues and you take in what you can. At the end, you have time to redress you baby and then we all stand up and sway a little to some calming music.
At the end of the first class, I was nervous to put Ben back into his car seat because he kind of hates it, but it was the quickest nap crash I’ve ever seen. Back at home I’ve taught my daughters some of the songs and I practiced some of the massage techniques before Ben’s morning naps. It is a wonderful practice to have in your parenting toolkit and I just loved every one of the four classes (so much in fact, that I’ve already signed Ben and I up for Jenni’s Baby Sign Language Class)!