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Saturday, 3 September 2011

Baby Massage Experince with My Father: 'A Father's Journey' by Mary Kay

Mike's transition to fatherhood was a difficult and challenging process.  There are so many Obstacles and adaption Issues he encountered on his way. As a result he found himself struggling with his new responsibility. He was sidelined and left in the background by the people who were supposed to help him with the transitional process. Despite this lack of support, he was expected to participate fully in the care of the baby ...

Since the birth of his daughter he was looking for support, to help him with his adjustment issues, but there are no services out there that offer support to men...

He was later introduced to the old art of baby massage. Could this experience of this technique boost Mike's confidence and enhance his parenting skills? And would it mend the ailing relationship between him and his wife?

This is a very informative book, written about a husband and wife who have a newborn baby. It follows the family from the moment of Becky's birth and looks at the emotions felt by both parents, but concentrating on Mike's, the father's, feelings about bonding with his new daughter and how during the first two weeks he feels pushed out as both his mother and mother in law 'help' settle Becky into her new home and to help Kate settle into motherhood. 

I myself volunteer in a local Sure Start children's centre and see mother's bringing their baby's into health visitor clinics and also attend baby massage centres but it was not until reading this book that I realised how few father's attend the sessions. Becky's health visitor picked up on Kate's down turn in mood when attending the weighing session and did not immediately put it down to 'baby blues' as her doctor had but following further discussion with Kate found the cause to be feeling that Mike was not bonding with Becky and taking an active part in the routines of bedtime, feeding etc. I found it really interesting to read about the pilot project that the health visitors were undertaking, inviting families as a whole (Mother, Father and Baby) to baby massage sessions, and reading about how Mike found it interesting and useful, allowing him to bond with Becky. 

The benefits of the sessions were plenty and the book tells all about them, Mike was able to bond with Becky, he rushed home at night to take part in the bedtime routine, bath time followed by baby massage. However, the benefits of the group were not only closeness for Mike and Becky, Mike's relationship with Kate also improved, Kate was able to become Kate a person again, rather than Kate, Becky's mother,  and also a closeness between Kate and Mike when Mike used techniques learnt in the sessions with Kate. Also Mike was able to develop friendships with the other fathers who attended the sessions, so much so that they decided to develop a support network, website based, for new fathers in the local area, drawing on the expertise of many of the professionals they have met. 

The book is only 61 pages long and a quick read, however it offers so much reassurance to fathers, that what they are feeling is also felt by others and 'normal'. It would be a great book to give to father's to be, and there are other books available in the series m2bn book publishing, which look at things from fathers and mothers perspectives and the benefits of baby massage.

I would recommend this book specifically to fathers to be and new fathers but I think that the book series as a whole should be promoted in ante natal classes, hospital delivery and post natal wards, children's centres and doctors surgeries to prospective parents and new parents, where there are a wide range of emotions and worries that are felt by many mothers and fathers that could be reassured by reading these books.

I received this book for review from Tally PR and M2BN Book Publishing.

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