When my son was born, I couldn’t breastfeed due to a tongue tied that doctors in Chile wouldn’t clip. This moment was heartbreaking for me as I didn’t get my natural birth as my son was breech. I felt like a ‘failure’ as the whole pregnancy wasn’t what I had planned. My expectations and plans were not in my control, which I have learned that having children is one thing to let go of, but it didn’t help how at that time I felt insignificant in my son’s life. I felt like I failure as a Mother and a Woman. I pumped for his first six months so he would still have my milk, but I felt like a cow. I told my husband once while I was pumping, as he fed our son that I could disappear and our baby wouldn’t notice. He wouldn’t need me or want me. It’s after I said that out loud and with tears in my eyes, I started to look up other ways to connect, to fill the gap of breastfeeding, and improve our bond that felt severely tethered. This is how I found infant massage. As a massage therapist (I’m qualified in Europe and most countries except Canada-sigh) I already knew the amazing benefits massage gave adults, yet it didn’t dawn on me massage was for babies.
While researching it, I came across the www.iaim-aimbcanada.org and during my own journey of massaging my son I kept going back to this website to see how I could help other moms. To backpedal and to keep focus on the title of ‘Finding You’ I massaged my son every day; I would sing little lullabies, use lavender oil and massage his legs, his arms, his stomach, his toes and hands. I used my own skills as a therapist and adapted them to his little body. I learned when he loved a stroke and when he didn’t. I learned when he was engaged and when he wasn’t. I learned to go with the flow by listening to him. And I felt his love for me when we stared at each other, he would look up at me as I massaged his little leg and I felt his love. I felt like he was telling me he needed me. This in turn helped me with how I saw myself as a Mom. I still sought professional help, and with the combination of our bonding session and therapy I felt more and more capable in this new role of Mom.
The confidence I started to build with my abilities as a Mom was definitely what I needed and as I saw the beautiful exchange of love between my son and I; I also noticed other amazing benefits such as him sleeping longer (5-8 hours a night at a young age), healthy digestion (perhaps too healthy - diaper change city!), and fussiness decreased. I couldn’t believe it and it was from there that I started to do more research about infant massage, which lead me to my qualification of teaching others on how to massage their baby. Because yes there are many benefits and the one that I am most grateful for is how I saw my son’s love for me.
The training was intense but so worth it. I remember we had moms come in so we could practice and experience what a class was like and it was incredibly special to be part of such an intimate way for mother and baby to bond. This pushed me to quickly to do the assignments after the training so I could start to begin my own journey of teaching infant massage.
There are so many benefits! I have mentioned some of them from my own personal experience and others include stimulation of the nervous system, language development, better connections between neurons, mind/body awareness, improved muscle tone, relief with gas and colic, teething discomfort, reduction of stress levels (for mommy and baby). It’s also another way for fathers to bond with baby. Infant massage results in better sleep for the entire family and allows for socialization with other parents and babies. Society as a whole further benefits from an increase of respect and empathy. It is quite amazing how massage for adults and babies can help support mental/emotional/physical health.
I truly believe in the amazing effects infant massage provides for both parent and baby. Whether you book through me or find someone who resonates with you, it’s about providing you a special moment with your baby, that’s the most important thing to me. It’s about finding you - who you are as a parent, who your baby is and who you are together.
Jessie Tucker Alonso
FB: Drop Off Shop Relax
Jessica’s Infant Massage classes can be found in our members online portal Community Calendar