Why I think this is so important
When I was pregnant, I felt the remarkable need to connect to other upcoming mothers. I was a late mom, so I did not have much pregnant couples around me. Therefore I looked for groups to do pregnancy gymnastics, yoga, or something similar. Unfortunately, all pregnancy exercises did not start until the fifth or sixth month of the pregnancy. Besides, they were aimed at giving birth. I was confident that my body knew what to do when giving birth, so I did not find that the most important part. What I did want, was to involve the father of my child in the pregnancy during the complete process, while pregnancy groups only invited the fathers a few time at the end. That is why I eventually decided to do pregnancy yoga, because the fathers were welcome in every class. Still, this course started during the last period of the pregnancy and the focus of the exercises were on giving birth.
I work with movements, and am specialized in the Feldenkrais Method. During the training for Feldenkrais practitioner, there is much attention for the development of movement of babies. We did all kind of movements that were derived from the movements which are made by babies during their development. Ever since the beginning of my training that received my special interest. I have organized special workshops with this theme. When my daughter was born, I recorded her movements with a video recorder. I felt like there was not much going on for the first five to six months. I thought it was only really movement when she started to roll over. I had to wait really long for that first movement. Of course she had already developed a lot by then comparing to the beginning.
When I did the Child’Space Training six years ago, which is a specialism within the Feldenkrais Method aimed at babies and toddlers, I realized how much had happened that first five months before a child is able to roll over. I became so enthusiastic because of all the details! I still am…
It is a miracle to learn what a baby is doing already from day one! What did I miss? How pitiful that I did not know that!
And apparently a lot of people with me. At the Child’Space training, mothers and their babies were invited to get a lesson from the teacher Chava Shelhav. These babies were often normal, healthy children. Some of them had special needs, like a club foot, congenital hip dysplasia, or brain damage by birth. Most of the parents, however, came because they were curious or because someone invited them, and not while they thought their child needs something. This showed me the effect of ignorance of the parents on the babies. Something happens in the interaction between parents and their babies, which disturbs the child in its development. This made such an impression on me. All these parents wanted the best for their kids, just like me in those days. This made me motivated to work with parents of new-borns and explain and show them what babies need. I want to give them the tools they need to support their children in the development.
This is why I made the plan to hand parents to be the possibility to prepare themselves for what their child needs in the various stages from the moment they are born. I want to achieve this with the help of the developmental movements from Child’Space, so parents can feel what their child is going to experience when it comes into the world of gravity.
Besides, since I learned about Child’Space, I also studied accompanying systems. I want to describe these specific approaches to baby development, so you are able to choose the way you want to raise your child. You can also join the discussion about these approaches by responding to my blog posts.
Now you are expecting a child what are you looking for: to connect to other parents to be, like me, or do you need something else?
And if you already have a child, what can you say now about what you had wanted to know before your child was born?
Or did you learn something on the way which you think is important to parents to be?
Please share below!
The first language of the baby is touch
The first contact with your baby is completely through touch. The primary need of a new born is not nutrition, but touch, and to creep against its mother’s warm skin. After the hard work of the delivery, this is very comforting. These first moments, your baby is very clear, and will explore your face. You will do the same. This first encounter with your baby after it is born can feel like a kind of trance, and you will fully have each other’s attention. The mother will also recover, and gets her reward after the hard work. The same happens when the baby is put in the father’s arms: they will look at each other and the father’s heart will melt for this little, helpless-looking creature.
The odd thing is that this scenario is not typical for a delivery. In most cases, your baby is taken pretty fast and is being weighted, measured, washed and dressed before it is put in your arms. The umbilical cord is already cut off by then and you have worked hard to push out the placenta in the afterbirth. For the child it would be better to wait with that, because its breath could set in naturally and gradually. When the oxygen supply through the umbilical cord is stopped, the respiration of the child has to begin very suddenly. By realizing this and discuss it with the midwife beforehand, you could suggest to wait with cutting the umbilical cord until the baby is breathing itself.
Beside the fact that your child has an evident need for touch, he is also very sensitive when you touch him. He would not be happy if you would dress him like he is a doll. He will even get annoyed. He will enjoy working with you more when you talk to him, and tell him what you are doing. You have to show him that you see him like a little human being, and that you are involved.
If you suddenly pick up your child and he abruptly comes off the ground, he will be frightened because he thinks that he will fall. If you talk to him before you lift him, and pick him up from the floor by rolling him to his side or even his belly, the support of your hand will replace the support of the floor. In this way, your child will not be frightened. These little tricks will make a huge difference, because they happen frequently. Handling your child this way will give him the confidence that he is carried all the time and that he does not have to fear that he will fall.
Also when you are dressing or undressing your child, it is better to roll your child over to his belly than to lift him up and put him down. A changing mat with a raised border becomes difficult to work with in this way. In all those moments with your baby it is good to give him extra sensorial information through the touch of the surface below him. He will feel better and better.
You are touching your child almost all the time, because he cannot do anything himself. There is contact when feeding, when carrying, when lifting, when putting down, when dressing or undressing, and when changing your baby. The language of your hands is the one your baby is initially living with. What kind of message do you give your child? What follows are extremes, and you cannot be the same all the time, but it is good to be conscious about the different impressions you can give your child which can influence his wellbeing.
- Are your hands soft and loving or are they functional and cool?
- Are they calm and patient or agitated and impatient?
- Are they confident or maybe a little insecure?
- Are they friendly or are they sad and tired? Or even depressed?
- Are you letting your child know that you are there with him by talking to him or are you mainly listening to the television or radio?
- Are you totally involved in the moment with your child or is your mind full with plans or worries for tomorrow?
I invite you to respond to this.