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28 Jul 2022 | 13:13 | [email protected]

Infant Massage is great way for parents and babies to bond through positive, nurturing touch and understand the way your baby is communicating. One of our lovely Infant Massage instructors, Lesley, has written this blog of her experience of running some of DorPIP’s groups.

‘Week one of any Infant Massage Course always tends to start a little cautiously with trepidations of the unknown, and the possible new parent insecurities of ‘Will I be judged? Am I a good enough parent? Will my baby be the only one that cries?’
As a group facilitator for these amazing Infant massage sessions, I immediately just want to give the parents or carers a big hug of reassurance and although I may not always do this physically it occurs naturally within the atmosphere of that very first session. Where gentle introductions, carefully selected icebreakers and group bond begins to naturally draw the parents all together. Gradually and intuitively, parents begin to share their highs and lows and I can sensitively observe them offering support to each other, maybe through a meaningful nod, in relation to each other's interactions and comments. 
Imagine the joy and relief, when after just week one of the course, parents are freely exchanging contact numbers with each other and building their own out of class social and support groups. The pressure is clearly off by week 2 when the class becomes a family of its own unique kind, when parents are open, often comfortably tearful, and unafraid to admit that ‘early parenting is certainly not always a bed of roses!’ The group sessions suddenly become longer and I find that as I casually tidy away, the parents stay around making plans about going for a coffee or heading to the beach for a walk. 
The following weeks are a pure joy as I watch the bonding and nurturing between parent and child and group members move to a whole new level. Parents now lead the group chats with their immediate needs, trials and successes and the changing dynamics of the baby led group provides every parent with the opportunity to engage, offer support or be supported. The bonding, communication and nurturing that comes from these groups is not just parent and baby bonding but spreads itself to community bonding, these infants will share early social experiences together and will perhaps eventually go to school together.
Parents naturally will evolve and move forward in their own directions, but these early bonds and support networks will be the foundations that both can build and flourish upon.  As part of the IAIM and DorPIP family I feel privileged to be part of it. 
Mums, dads, partners, single parents, babies with additional needs, breastfed, bottle fed, first born’s or even fourth borns the group list is endless and diverse. We value our uniqueness and grow through funding of generous donors that help us to support families to flourish. We aim to provide our services to a wide range of the local communities across Dorset.  Parents and families within the community attending these groups experience the benefits for themselves, their babies, and their progressive and supportive relationships with others.
Enquire today to see when our next course, the experience you have and bonds you create will last a lifetime.’