HUG Your Baby Trainer on Journey to Become an Infant Massage Educator

Gale Touger FNP-C, IBLCL and  HUG Your Baby Trainer, began the process of teacher certification with the International Association of Infant Massage. She shares this journey with us.

Recently I have been working hard to complete certification to teach infant massage. The International Association of Infant Massage has developed a challenging array of assignments.  As I walk through this process, I am considering how the approaches to learning and demonstrating competence might inform the process we are developing for HUG Your Baby Train the Trainer.

Becoming certified to teach Infant Massage to parents began for me with a 4 day course in February 2016.  Since then I recruited five parents to bring their babies to  a class of five 1.5 hour sessions at least one week apart. There were forms to be read and signed by parents, preparation for and teaching class, parent evaluation and self evaluation.  I offered the class for free in exchange for their agreement to attend all five classes. The process was complicated and prolonged by one mom dropping out and having to reschedule a class due to babies’ illness. Other assignments have included short answer and multiple choice questions on the content of the 4 day training, reading a relevant book and submitting a book report, analyzing a relevant research study, outlining a verbal marketing presentation about infant massage, and essays on the bonding process, crying and a special situation that a massage instructor is likely to encounter.  

This process has taken me beyond the commitment and participation in a four day training and practice. It has guided me through anticipating and intellectually rehearsing situations I will likely encounter as a teacher. I have experienced, though practice teaching, my strengths, my weaknesses, what skills are familiar to me, what skills are new and I have been prepared for implementing this program in my circumstances.

Jan and I are exploring my experience and impressions as we consider what assignments would adequately prepare and demonstrate the competence of a HUG Your Baby Trainer.  We are very interested in your experience and thoughts. What assignments and experiences have you found valuable when certifying as a doula, an IBCLC, a parent educator or a trainer of Infant Massage Teachers? Now that you are moving beyond competence in your primary field of expertise, how can you best demonstrate competence to train future HUG Your Baby Teachers?