Health & Exercise

Infant Massage Class For Parents & Caregivers

Turnstone’s award-winning Therapy team is now offering Infant Massage classes that teach parents and caregivers how to properly calm and nurture their babies through touch. Classes are specifically designed for parents, grandparents, and primary caregivers.

February classes will start on February 8 at 2 p.m. and will be hosted for three consecutive Wednesdays at Turnstone. Class dates will continue beyond February; future dates are to be determined.

“My goal is to teach parents this skill so that they can better understand their baby’s needs. Building confidence and empowering them to form a healthy bond with their child, which is so important to both the baby and parents’ health,” said Mary Hitzemann, Occupational Therapist and certified Infant Massage Instructor at Turnstone.

Group and individual classes are available. The class is appropriate for parents with babies one month to one year old. Mothers-to-be who would like to learn infant massage prior to the baby’s birth are also welcome to attend.

The cost to attend this class is $100 for three group classes or $150 for two individual sessions and includes a book with the different massage strokes and a bottle of oil. There are also scholarships available to families with financial need.

Infant Massage is an important source of stimulation that promotes emotional and physical development, as well as bonding and mutual parent-child attachment. This program will primarily use a combination of Swedish and Indian massage, reflexology, and conditioned relaxation response to obtain the greatest benefits.

Sessions provide individualized assistance so that parents learn:
• Massage Strokes for all areas of the body
• The best oil to use for their child
• How to respond to your baby’s cues
• How to vary the massage strokes as your baby grows
• How to address specific needs like colic, prematurity, intestinal difficulties and/or physical challenges

The practice of infant massage has many great benefits for both parents and their babies. No matter if you are a new parent or have already had kids, this class is an opportunity for parents to learn these skills.

A few benefits for the baby include (but are not limited to):
• Babies who are lovingly touched, cry less and become ill less often
• Studies indicate that babies who are massaged on a regular basis, have less stress hormone (lower cortisol levels)
• Massage improves weight gain
• Eases colic, gas, and constipation
• Promotes relaxation and sleep by regulation of behavioral states and increased release of melatonin
• Promotes, social, emotional, and cognitive development
• Stimulates the respiratory system, circulatory system, immune system, and digestive system

A few benefits for the parents include:
• Promotes bonding and attachment between parent and baby
• Mothers who massage their babies have increased confidence in their parenting skills
• Reduces stress levels and decreases postpartum depression
• Promotes better understanding of infant cues

For more information on this class, please call 260-483-2100 or reach out to Mary Hitzemann at

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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