THE WEEK Magazine
Published April 25, 2017
Expectant and new parents love to know exactly what baby gear they should be buying. People are eager to make suggestions: the best swings, the right carriers, the MamaRoo, the Rock n' Play, the Miracle Blanket, all "guaranteed" to soothe your kiddo. But here's one suggestion you probably don't hear very often: infant massage. It may sound "out there" — and maybe I'm biased because I live in Los Angeles — but there's a lot of research supporting the benefits of this calming technique.
It may sound too good to be true, but if you think about it, it makes so much sense; we hear how beneficial skin-to-skin contact can be for babies. And it's natural that we want to hold and touch our infants. Massage provides a structured place for that mother's (or father's) touch. "Parents are the expert on their babies, and therefore the best person to massage their babies," says Summer Sinclair-Menkee, CEIM (Certified Educator of Infant Massage). "Early touch is so crucial to newborn development, and babies would rather feel skin on skin from mom or dad. The tools and techniques parents gain from an infant massage class give them the confidence to soothe their infants, tune in to their non-verbal cues, and bond deeper with the person that is their baby."
When should you start massaging your little one? "It's best to wait until baby's umbilical cord falls off to begin infant massage with your newborn," Sinclair-Menkee explains. Not only is there a right age, there's also a right time to massage. "The best state to massage you baby in is 'quiet alert,'" Sinclair-Menkee says. "You don't want to wake your baby up for a massage, nor do you want them to be too fussy or crying during massage. Usually after a nap, a diaper change, or 15-20 minutes after a feeding, so they've had time to digest, is the best 'quiet alert' window for newborns. It's baby-led. Once your infant is two to four months old, then you can start implementing a bedtime routine with massage and bath time. Some parents like massage before bath time, and some prefer it after the bath. This just depends on you and baby."
Published March 14, 2017
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a new business has not been a smooth road for me, especially as a mom of two under three years old! There have definitely been some struggles along the way. For instance, I started my business on the Westside of Los Angeles, in the Pico/Robertson area, and just as I was getting things going we bought a house on the Eastside, which Angelenos know is like moving to a whole other city, not just a new neighborhood.
I work closely with my beloved Pediatrician, Dr. Edmond Saraff, who is located close to Beverly Hills. He sends me to his “concierge” families’ homes for infant massage instruction, especially for newborns with colic & gas, respiratory issues or difficult birth journeys. I am so grateful for my partnership with SoCal Integrative Wellness; however, I am driving forty-five minutes to an hour to some homes.
Thanks to my new mom clients in NELA, including Becca Gordon of Two Doulas Birth, I have been able to tap into a wonderful mompreneur community on the Eastside! Renting classroom space for my group classes has not been easy, because mommy & me businesses are hard to maintain in the trendy, ever gentrifying neighborhoods of Silverlake and Atwater Village.