Kathleen Gates LMT
Promoting healthy (physically, emotionally, spiritually) children is a privilege and one that I share with the other practitioners in the Project. I have experienced the benefits from services received personally by the other practitioners and know that I am in a special group of committed health care providers. I strive to offer families much needed support and encouragement as they take steps to naturally promote life-long healthy behaviors for their children. I support the natural preparation and process of childbirth, the need to protect mothers and babies that strive for safe births, and enjoy offering “the next step” after birth for parents and babies.It’s an incredible journey!
Why infant massage helps babies (and parents too!):
Using both Western and Eastern philosophies and strokes to massage, infant massage focuses on gentle, soothing relaxation strokes for calming baby, improving immune functioning, promoting weight gain and helping balance sleep/wake cycles. Other benefits include fostering better communication between parents and infants. Caregivers are taught to become aware of baby’s cues of responsiveness (and babies in response delight the massager with coos, gurgles and giggles.)
It’s never too late to begin massaging babies and children. Because infants and toddlers (ages 0 months – 3 years) are developing language, motor and cognitive skills, it is the opportune time to “reach” them and bathe them in all kinds of gentle, supportive stimuli. During massage class, we use songs, games and balls to encourage all levels of development. Nurturing touch and massage time is enhanced by this multi-layered approach. Bonding and physio-logical development are at the center of our objective, but we have lots of fun too!
- Infant massage helps babies to relax
- Promotes bonding and develops parents ability to read baby’s cues of responsiveness
- Helps address colic and intestinal difficulties (excessive gas, constipation, etc.)
- Promotes weight gain in premature infants
- Helps to strengthen and regulate baby’s respiratory, circulatory, nervous, musculature and gastrointestinal systems
- Moms and Dads benefit as they become confident in listening (seeing) what their babies are telling them. Massaging baby is also relaxing for mother and father!
- If parents have returned to work, massage can be very useful in re-establishing the connection from time away by giving each parent quality time with baby.
Kathleen’s Bio:I received my Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) certificate in 2006 from the International Loving Touch Foundation, Inc., an organization dedicated to educating and training instructors, parents and caregivers in communities worldwide. They strive to cultivate love, compassion and respect for infants and children through positive touch. The joy of this credential for me has been reaching out and offering classes, speaking to groups and promoting this parent enrichment program in the Capital District for the past 5 years. As a mother of three children, there are many benefits to having additional skills and tools (like calming massage) to help support, encourage and reinforce all aspects of raising healthy, well-nurtured children in today’s stress-filled world. Although I originally considered taking infant massage as a massage therapist and mom for the benefits it could offer my own children and to fulfill the need for continuing education units (CEU’s), by the end of the instructional weekend, I felt a connection to this massage work and knew I would continue on for the certification portion offered by ILTF, Inc. It has been a fantastic opportunity to meet many families in the community, to provide substance and nurturing (hands on!) for parents as they navigate the journey of parenthood.
The Pregnancy Project is a constellation of providers based in the Capital District offering a wide variety of services to pregnant women, their babies and families.
We represent the best in our respective fields, and offer a combined experience of over 60 years in meeting the needs of families during the childbearing cycle. Please visit our individual websites to take advantage of the services we offer, and congratulations on your growing family! http://pregnancyproject-ny.org/