Today was the baby massage workshop at the centre. There’s not much better than the delightful mayhem of being in the presence of a dozen babies and their mothers (we actually had thirteen babies; there was a set of twins)! The workshop was scheduled to start at “10 o’clock”. I’m getting quite used to Ugandan time now, so when we got started at about a quarter to twelve I was completely unfazed. I was, however, quite pleased by the turnout, as I was unsure of what Ugandan women would think of this baby massage thing.
I shouldn’t have worried. They loved it! The mothers were very attentive, the babies were fairly cooperative with a few crying and feeding breaks and it was overall quite a success. During the abdominal massage, just as I was starting to tell them that these techniques were good for releasing gas and constipation, one of the babies let one rip, big time. Her mother said that she had been constipated for several days. A satisfied customer!
Because there was a set of twins, our head midwife Sarah was able to practice the baby massage techniques also. This will be very useful, because once we start birthing babies at the centre the midwives will be able to pass some baby massage instruction on to the new mothers, as well as possibly leading another baby massage workshop. I loved how keen these mothers were today, and it warmed my heart so to see them interacting with their babies in such a positive, nurturing way. They all said, during the feedback/discussion part of the workshop that massaging their babies made them feel good and happy, and made their babies want to nurse or go to sleep. Indeed, it was much quieter in the hut at the conclusion of the workshop than it was at the start. For these women, it was a job well done.
- Vanessa Senecal, Volunteer