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  • Writer's pictureClaire Best

Bumps, Babies And Childminders


I've been thinking about the past few months since re-opening the massage room. Noticeably, I've given many, many more pregnancy and postnatal massages than in previous years. I guess it must be the lockdown baby boom!

Because of this, I'm writing about my ante and postnatal massages in case you know someone who might benefit, and right at the end I have a top childminder recommendation for you.

I trained in and have been offering antenatal massage dating back to when I was pregnant myself (over 8 years ago). It's important to me that I offer a calm, supportive environment and a non-judgemental ear on all that is ante and postnatal. I don't have opinionated views on birth, breastfeeding or bottle feeding as there is already so much pressure on women and believe that a supported and happy mum will mean a happy baby. My sole aim is to help the mother relax, ease tension and offer advice on some of the side effects of pregnancy, such as restless legs, nausea and insomnia.

Antenatal massage can be received 12 weeks after conception but you should wait until after your 12-week scan and it makes sense to mention your intentions to your midwife, GP or consultant. There are a few conditions, such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, where medical consent is required. I offer massage in a side-lying position with lots of supportive pillows for the comfort and safety of you and your bump, using grapeseed oil to avoid allergy concerns.

After the baby arrives, we need to wait for 6 weeks after a vaginal birth and 12 weeks after a c-section for massage. This will coincide with medical checks and so permission can be sought with the midwife, GP or consultant. The massage is initially gentle and focused on relaxation, pain relief and helping the mother gain a sense of balance, well-being and a connection to her body. For postnatal massage, I use a discreet towel for leaking breasts, shoulder supports to take pressure off the breasts and a rolled towel under the ankles to take the strain off the lumbar spine. It is also possible to massage in a side-lying position. Babies are welcome in the massage room, or Ruskin Park offers an opportunity for someone to walk the pram.

People often ask me about other local services such as playgroups, reflexology or physiotherapy but, in particular, whether I know a good childminder.

Regarding childminders, I totally recommend my son's former childminder - the wonderful Sabina Jackson. Sabina looks after small groups of babies and children from her home on Holmdene Avenue in Herne Hill and, from the bottom of my heart, I adore her and couldn't recommend her highly enough. For me, she was just like having a trusted, extended member of the family who had no shortage of love to spare for my son. I found her a great comfort and reassurance in the early years and particularly enjoyed seeing the babies and children sharing home-cooked food, chatting, laughing and learning manners around her big country kitchen table. Contact me if you'd like to get in touch with her.

So, if you're looking for a childminder, I know Sabina has some spaces and if you'd like to book a massage or buy a voucher for a loved one, you know how to contact me.

Before I sign off, thanks for reading and please let's not forget the other parent who may also feeling worn out and sleep-deprived and let's not underestimate the impact of a different kind of baby in a household - the puppy! I hear there are lots of lockdown dog owners who have also been kept awake and are finding that puppies are just as exhausting as babies.

Best wishes and I l hope to see you soon,


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Claire Best

Holistic Massage Therapy
Petersfield, Hampshire
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