By Barbara Hotelling, WHNP, Certified HUG Teacher, IBCLC, (and a host of other credentials!)
"Once again I have discovered a new way to incorporate HUG Your Baby into my work with young families. Infant Massage: a gift for yourselves and the families you work with.
Many of you already have combined knowledge of childbirth education, birth and/or postpartum doula support, adult learning theory, infant growth and development, and lactation support into your work with new parents and their babies. These parents are fortunate to get much more from you than the individual workshops you provide. However, I was blessed this week to discover another resource for families at Linda Storm’s Infant Massage workshop. This resource blends so beautifully with the HUG training I already offer parents.
Just as HUG training is so much more than a method, so is Infant Massage. HUG teaches us how to approach parents in a way that empower them to discover the temperament, talents and capabilities of their infants. Like The HUG, Infant Massage encourages parents to look to their baby as the teacher, the parent as the expert, and the instructor as the guide.
We are teaching massage strokes, but that is not all we are teaching. Parents learn to read their infants’ body language so that the infant can successfully engage and interact with the parent and also disengage when appropriate. The infant massage instructor is the facilitator as parents share their experiences and grow in confidence and skills, “tricks of the trade” as new parents. Both HUG and Infant Massage teach about brain development and how sensitive responding to an infant facilitates this growth. Both HUG and Infant Massage give parents important tools for responding appropriately to their infants, toddlers, children, and teens.
I heartily encourage you to explore Infant Massage, a gift for yourself and the families you empower. Both HUG and Infant Massage can make a small, but important contribution to helping develop a loving society where individuals and families will thrive and nourish one another."