Baby bonding club
15 October 2019 | West and South West England
Brilliant massage group helps isolated young parents and their new babies
Life as a new parent can be daunting, especially if you have a restless baby and no family close by to help.
That was why Rosie Parker set up an innovative baby massage group in Helston, Cornwall, five years ago.
She wanted help new mums and dads come together, reduce isolation and also help their babies. After completing a course in baby massage she realised this would be the ideal project.
The initial group, including her sister and newborn nephew Oliver, was a success and Rosie has now worked with hundreds of families in and around the Lizard Peninsula.
“We have a lot of families from the navy, with young children, who might not know anyone and have no family around,” says Rosie, 38. “It can be a lonely time. Or you might be a single mum. I wanted to offer a relaxed, friendly space for them to make friends and bond with their babies.
“As a parent myself, I know you can feel emotionally vulnerable in those early days but through the group they can share their concerns.”
She added: “Life can be very busy but during Baby Massage, you can take some time out. We are surrounded by technology in our day-to-day lives and sometimes we forget to just be present with our children. We also do singing and signing with the babies. It is all just so very comfortable - and I love it when the dads come too.”
The project is just one that has come out of the Lizard CHILD Trust charity, a community initiative to support some of the most vulnerable groups in their community.
They also offer a day nursery, parenting programmes, slow cooker events and support groups.
But it is their Baby Massage project that really makes them unique. Each £20 course runs for five weeks, but many parents sign up for repeat sessions.
It gives parents with babies from six weeks of age support, as well as the opportunity to make friends.
Claire Elder, 32, signed up with her daughter Evie. She says: “I didn’t really have any other friends with such young children so it was so nice to get out and meet people with babies of a similar age. I also suffered from anxiety so even though the first session was scary once I got there they made me feel at ease.
“Then every session after that wasn’t scary at all. It was like going from home to home. Evie loved it when we sang songs and the room where we do baby massage is so relaxing. I loved that after we had finished we’d then just sit and have a cuppa and chat.”
She adds: “Evie still loves her massage before bed, it really helps her to chill and relax. Evie also loved the singing and lights. All in all, it's probably the best thing I have done with Evie. We have a bond like no other.”