Premature baby massage helps parents bond with tiny newborns

Baby massage - from left, Amy Schearman and Esme with Karen Johnson and Joshua. Picture: ESNEFT

Baby massage - from left, Amy Schearman and Esme with Karen Johnson and Joshua. Picture: ESNEFT - Credit: ESNEFT

Baby massage sessions specifically for premature newborns are proving a hit with parents at Colchester Hospital.

Emily Bryan and Bobby at Colchester Hospital's neonatal massage sessions. Picture: ESNEFT

Emily Bryan and Bobby at Colchester Hospital's neonatal massage sessions. Picture: ESNEFT - Credit: ESNEFT

One mum, Kerry Rowley, attended the course with her baby, Olivia, who's now three months old. She was born four weeks early and spent nine days on the Neonatal Unit.

Kerry said: "Olivia found it really relaxing. It's something I'd definitely do again. There are people here that were on the unit at the same time as us, so it's nice to get out and see people you recognise."

Nursery nurse Julia Michael at Colchester Hospital's neonatal baby massage sessions Picture: ESNEFT

Nursery nurse Julia Michael at Colchester Hospital's neonatal baby massage sessions Picture: ESNEFT - Credit: ESNEFT

Mum-of-four Amy Schearman said she found the sessions "really helpful" after her baby Esme was born six weeks early.

She said: "It helps with bonding. Her being premature was traumatic and you don't really get the firsts like other mothers do.

Kerry Rowley and Olivia at Colchester Hospital's neonatal baby massage sessions Picture: ESNEFT

Kerry Rowley and Olivia at Colchester Hospital's neonatal baby massage sessions Picture: ESNEFT - Credit: ESNEST


You may also want to watch:


"She's my first premature baby out of four and when you are with other premature babies it's helpful to know the milestones not reached is quite normal."

The aim of the five-week course, held in the hospital's Iceni Centre, is to promote health and at the same time teach baby massage techniques to help relax and calm newborns.

Most Read

This can potentially also reduce associated mental health concerns in parents, which have been found to be linked with neonatal unit admissions.

The sessions offer support to parents and are helping to provide special bonding time.

Julia Michael, a nursery nurse at the neonatal unit, is running the sessions. She said: "These parents may have a future of frequent hospital visits, so it's important to provide a positive side to their experience of the hospital.

"It's also a chance for parents to share their experiences and support each other after what, for some of them, has been a traumatic time."

She added that it is hoped the sessions will continue. "We hope we can offer it more as after care, as I think it's really important to bridge the bonding interruption."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus