This week, Tom, my mum Janet and I, enjoyed a ‘baby massage’ workshop with the lovely Beverley Hingham.
It was Alfie’s first taste of massage – he LOVED it!
I have to say, I found it uber relaxing too. At this early stage, Beverley recommends either sunflower oil, olive oil, coconut oil or calendula oil. Various essential oils should only be introduced when your child is older.
Massage is such a gorgeous way for you to spend time and bond with your baby. Massage can soothe your baby and help baby to sleep (and that SO has to be worth a shot!!) Baby massage has many benefits including improving weight gain, helping digestion, improving circulation, and easing teething pain.
One study found that massage in the early days could help newborns to recover from jaundice more quickly. Don’t massage straight after a feed or just before, that way their little bellies won’t be too full or too empty. We learnt that it’s important to maintain eye-contact and work from the feet upwards, so not to startle younger babies and give them reassurance.
Gradually build on massage time, 15minutes is a good starting time. There are certain points on babies feet that are very sensitive (reflexology-wise), so massaging feet in a clockwise motion can help if baby is consitpated for example. Be careful not to over-stimulate younger babies though.
Tom really enjoyed it too – I think this is a lovely way for dads to bond with baby. Some dads feel a little ‘left out’ if they’re at work all day, especially if mum is breastfeeding exclusively – this could be dad’s ‘special bond’ with baby. We’re going to keep it up, it was a relaxing time for all of us. Give it a go! Light some candles, download some relaxation music and chill as a family whilst baby enjoys a lovely massage :-)
Alfie had his first swim this week – cuteness overload!
He was a little unsure for all of five minutes- then he loved it!
It was so lovely watching him take it all in.
Tom and I love the water so it’s important to get Alfie started young.
I think feeling comfortable in the water from a young age makes such a difference once your child starts swimming lessons. Confidence is key!
Big happy birthday to my beautiful mum Janet!
We had a fab time celebrating.
Alfie was fuming he wasn’t old enough for chocolate cake!
I’ve been in touch with UP Fitness trainer Glenn Parker (GPTransformer) this week. I’ve had a lot of tweets from new mums asking that age old question “how do I get my tummy back?”
Firstly – STOP beating yourselves up! Your tummy has just done a VERY important job! It’s entitled to a break! When you feel ready to start building that strength back up, it’s important to do it properly.
Fitness expert Glenn offers us his guidance below:
“Many female gym goers want to get back into the gym ASAP after the birth of their child. They will want to have that pre-baby body back and still look better. But during pregnancy and after nine months of complete change around the mid-section. After the birth it’s important to start to strengthen muscles around that area.
“The internal abdominals will need time to return to that pre-pregnancy state. So doing those 100 sit ups will not help and could in the end cause more damage. So a corrective exercise programme will need to be put together to start to strengthen what we call those ‘core’ muscles which will build stability, strength and muscle endurance.
“But before you undertake any sort of exercise programme please receive consent from your doctor or health care professional to undertake any exercise. Do this as a circuit working as Shown and 20-40 sec rest before moving on 2-3 times through.”
1. Mini crunch.
This is not your typical ab crunch. Lie onto your back, then try and lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Keeping your head tucked. Your hands should now be sliding along the ground to your feet. This is a tiny movement. The aim is to produce a contraction in the abs. Hold for 3 sec before lower down and repeat
Repeat x 15 counts of 3 x 2-3 sets
2. Novice plank
Three parts to this exercise.
-lie face down on the floor
-prop up on knees and elbows
-position elbows directly underneath the shoulder and maintain a straight posture from heel through to shoulder
-hold for duration of interval and concentrate on squeezing your core musculature
-if more advanced raise knees off floor and stay in a straight line with elbows on floor
Hold for 40 sec-60 sec x 2-3 sets
3. Heels down, one at a time then together
-lie on your back with your knees hip width apart and legs lifted up to 90 degrees (knees are over chest)
-draw belly button in so lower back is flat to the floor at all times
-hands on temples
-lift your head and shoulders off the floor, with a gap between your chin and chest
-slowly lower 1 leg and keep it bent at 90 degrees so that your heel just touches the ground and return to starting position
-ready to pull your lower abs in as you lower your heels to the floor and pull legs back up
When alternate legs x 10-15(each side) if you can then do both do 10-15 again x 2-3 sets
-lie on your stomach and make sure your lower back and hips ate in a stable position
-reach your arms forward and stretch legs out
-from this position. Lift your arms and legs up 2-3 inches off the ground
– hold 3-5 sec then release back to ground.
10-15 lifts x 2/3 sets
5. Glute bridge
-Lie on your back with your feet resting on a bench or a stable chair at around 90 degrees
– relax your arms by your sides and keep your palms face down on the floor
-slowly lift your hips off the floor until your body and thighs form a straight line, squeezing your bottom towards the ceiling. Hold for a couple of seconds
– slowly return to the starting position
-if you want to get more advanced. Hold your body in the straight position and then do alternate leg lifts
10-15 reps x 2/3 sets
-stand shoulder width apart
-initiate the movement by bringing your hips back and down until they reach knee level
-imagine your sitting on a chair
– weight on heels and your lower back flat
-return to start by pushing through heels and stand up
-keep abs squeezed
10-15 reps x 2/3 sets
Thank you Glenn!
Until next time, my little Health Bunnies!
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG