Published: Wednesday 25 May 2016
In the first of our new series where we find out a little more about our stellar students and what they've gone on to do since undertaking training with To Baby and Beyond, we talk to Tanya Thoumine. Tanya took an Infant Massage Instructors course with us a few years back. Here we find out how she's getting on...
Name: Tanya Thoumine
Lives: Guernsey, Channel Islands
What do you teach? Baby Massage
How long have you been an instructor? Four years (I qualified in March 2012)
What made you want to become an instructor? I firstly trained as part of my role as a Family Support Worker but have always had an interest and passion for baby massage knowing the many natural benefits it has.
Have you always been an instructor? No I am also a Family Support Worker as well as running my Little Hands Baby Massage classes.
What's your favourite part of your job? My favourite part of the job is seeing the special time each parent spends during the classes whilst massaging their baby. We live in a world where everyone is very busy so to see everyone taking some time out to spend with their baby without distractions is very special.
How do you keep your skills up to date? Do you have any favourite websites that you use? I don't have a specific website I refer to but I am always looking for new research. I really like the book 'Loving Hands' by Fredrick Laboyer. The Facebook page To Baby and Beyond for all qualified instructors is very invaluable for keeping up to date, getting new ideas to use in classes and supporting each other. By massaging my 13 month old daughter daily as part of her bed time routine is a practical way I continue to keep my skills up to date.
What qualities do you think are important in a baby massage instructor? The qualities I feel are important for a baby massage instructor is to be patient, calm, understanding, friendly and passionate. I always say in my classes that babies are unpredictable so if your baby cries or becomes unsettled please do not worry. I feel this helps the parent feel comfortable in helping to soothe their baby in a relaxed and supportive environment.
What benefits do you derive from baby massage? The list could be endless of all the benefits I feel from teaching baby massage. I feel my top two benefits would be helping the parents that come to you because their baby is suffering badly with colic or constipation. By teaching them a simple tummy routine that can change the way their baby feels. As a parent learning a skill that you can use to help your baby and by allowing parents that special time with their baby with no distractions around, their full attention is on their baby. This again to me is a huge benefit of running massage classes as babies grow up much too quickly.
Have you learnt anything surprising about baby massage? This isn't necessarily surprising but for me using it now with my daughter to help with constipation and colds it really is a very natural method in helping your baby.
What's your top tip for baby massage? My top tip for baby massage is to always allow yourself time to carry out the massage. Do not rush your massage time as your baby will pick up if you are rushing or feeling stressed. Your calmness will always help your baby.
Have you had an amusing experiences in your work as an instructor? One parent was feeling brave and took their baby's nappy off and they had a poo explosion!! The poor Dad jumped back very quickly!!
Who would you most like to teach on one of your courses? Recently my husband and daughter attended one of my classes which was very special. My daughter was massaged from birth at home but to have my husband in a class was special to see their bond and attachment developing in a different environment and for Daddy to enjoy some 1:1 time with our daughter. Having Dads on my classes is becoming more popular which is fantastic.
Nice to meet you Tanya! You can find Tanya and Little Hands Massage on Facebook.
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