Hello Everyone, my name Is Kelly Eastman and I am a family Practitioner and certified Infant
Massage Instructor at the Hamlet Charity in Norwich, England.
In my role I support families whose children have various diagnoses and conditions. I also support
families whose babies have been born prematurely and have spent time in the neonatal intensive
care unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
All of the families who have spent time on NICU are referred to our nurture group where they can
come to find support from myself and get to spend time with other parents who have been on a
similar journey to themselves.
I get the amazing job of teaching the parents how to massage their babies and share with them the
huge amount of benefits this can have, not just for the babies but for their entire families.
As you can imagine all of the families who come to us have been through the traumatic experience
of not only giving birth prematurely and the many complications this can cause, but also the
anguish of not being able to hold, touch and nurture their little ones at one of the most critical time
in their lives. In some cases the families have spent months having to be separated from their
newborns so when they come to us they are at the very beginning of a new chapter in their lives.
Many of these parents are suffering levels of anxiety that only other parents in the same position
could ever understand.
To see how the massage helps the parents bond with their babies over the five weeks of learning
baby massage is so rewarding. When I first meet the families they are almost always nervous and
in some circumstances this is the first time they have ventured out with their little ones. I am always
very mindful of the journey these parents have been through and I am meticulous in creating a
clean, calm and welcoming environment for them to come into. I want to ensure they are
comfortable and feel secure in the fact that I am there to support them with any questions or
queries they have about the massage and the ethos behind it.
Throughout the five weeks of teaching the parents baby massage I see many subtle changes not
only in the babies but also in the parents. I see the parents transform from being almost scared to
interact with their little ones, some feel awkward asking their baby’s permission, some don’t
understand why they should sing whilst massaging, but through the weeks I see the parents grow in
confidence and help them to see that their babies are responding to the cues that they are
giving them. I get to witness the delight on the parents faces when their babies respond to their
touch and their voices.
I feel that through the process of teaching the massage and sharing Vimala’s calming approach to
parenting I am able to bridge the vital gap that these parents are deprived of through the first
weeks, and sometimes months of their babies lives. To witness the bond and connection these
parents gain with their babies is wonderful.
I truly have the most beautiful and rewarding job I could have ever hoped for.
To contact me Please call 01603 766566 or email at Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are two lovely testimonials – the first from Lucie Farley, and the second from Jennie Ball.
‘The photo above is of me and my beautiful daughter Rose. Rose was in an incubator the day after birth due to having seizures which were caused by a stroke. This meant we weren’t able to hold her, feed her or change her – all the things new parents look forward to doing. When we were able to do these things she felt so much more delicate than on the night she was born. We use baby massage after her bath – it helps calm her, helps us connect with her after such a challenging experience and supports our home routine. Rose really enjoys the leg part of the massage and the ‘I love you’ on her tummy!’
‘The baby massage group really helped me gain some of my confidence back, after the shock of having my baby early. It made me have a reason to get out of the house on a bus and go to the Hamlet Centre for a set time. That in itself has done us both the world of good. I liked that the other mums had all been through similar birth experiences and after-care in the NICU, and that their babies were of similar age and size to mine. Through the weeks we focused on different parts of the baby’s body and watched Kelly show us on her doll, then repeated these the following week. They were easy to follow plus we had handouts to look back on – once home with baby brain it was easy to forget after you left the group setting. I liked that the hand movements had little rhymes, calming words, breathing techniques and even songs so that you could do these alongside the massage. An enjoyable and relaxing group and if I was to have another new born I would want to do it all again – it helps you connect with your baby’.