Love, look after and nurture yourself. You feel better, more positive, energetic and happy.
When you love others, you create relationships defined by positive communication, understanding and compassion. Nurturing touch helps to create connection.
Love your Community
When people come together in love, BIG things can happen like positive social change, freedom and justice.
It starts with everyone. Our thoughts and actions everyday. It can begin at anytime. A fantastic time to discover the importance of love creation is when you become pregnant and a new parent. You have the opportunity to create a love filled environment to nurture your child and support his/her development. Every child who receives love has the capacity to go on and give love, and so it continues. Love creates Love.
Babies are love. They are open to learning how to give and receive love. They are non judgmental and open minded. This means parents have an amazing opportunity to help shape how their babies brain develops and how they perceive the world. This window of opportunity to help support a baby’s emotional development is vital to help create a secure child who is confident to explore the world, interacting with others with the knowledge he/she is loved.
You are your baby’s first teacher and he/she learns about emotions, feelings and social interaction from you. Love lessons are the best ones to share with your baby; they create the potential for happy and healthy relationships. It sounds simple, but sometimes it can be difficult to share love if you are not feeling it for yourself or have not experienced it. If you are not experiencing loving feelings at the moment, don’t be concerned. Creating and sharing love can start and happen at any time. Not everyone falls in love at first sight. Love grows and blossoms over time and with attention. The good news is that there are things you can do to help create love.
When you become pregnant, you have the opportunity to create a loving environment for your baby from day one by nurturing yourself during pregnancy and forming a loving bond with your baby before he/she is born.
Your baby is growing inside you and you have the ability to help support your baby’s growth and development during your pregnancy by making sure you nurture yourself.
It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when there are so many things to do and pressures around us. Studies have shown that babies are affected by their mother’s nutrition, health and emotional wellbeing (DiPietro, J.A. (2004).
Looking after your own wellbeing means making just a few changes to your lifestyle. Taking time to rest, eating well, discovering gentle exercise/yoga, enjoying your favourite music, having a pampering session in the bath or asking for a gentle massage can help relax you. It’s a great time to tune in to what makes you happy and then do more of that!
We have created some free downloadable cards that are all about looking after yourself and creating a love filled environment for you during and after pregnancy. Click on the card icons below to download.
The change of identity in becoming a mother or father, the overwhelm of information and comparison plus the physical demands of looking after a new baby can cause anxiety and lead to feelings of isolation. Isolation and feelings of “not being good enough” have far reaching consequences for parents and their children.
Research summarised by Royal College of Midwives shows that;
The long-term effects of continued postnatal depression include compromised emotional (e.g. Stein et al 1991) and cognitive functioning of children (e.g. Tronick et al 1986)
Depression in the postnatal period is associated with insecurity of attachment in early childhood (i.e. around 18 months postpartum) (e.g. Murray 1992; Stein et al 1991)
Nearly half of babies of depressed mothers show lower levels of left frontal brain activity (e.g. joy; interest; anger) (Dawson et al 1999).
Groups like baby massage & yoga and our Love creates Love groups provide support and help create relationships and connections where new parents can talk about their feelings, share them and ask for help. Research shows that attending a baby massage class may help early interaction between mothers with depression and their infants (Onozawa et al 2001).
Love creates love groups promote self love and care and celebrate the role of parents in educating the future generation. When parents are supported emotionally, they can be present and emotionally available for their children helping to teach kindness and compassion through their responsiveness. Children are then able to grow and develop empathy for others which has the potential to create a more connected society.
Our work is not only helping to promote the physical and emotional benefits of touch for babies. It is helping to support, value and celebrate new mothers in society who arguably have a vital role. We have included a Parent Positivity Pack below to help support parents.
It’s so important to look after yourself when you have a baby. Make sure you are taking enough time to nurture yourself through rest, food, activity and mindfulness. There is lots of information on how to do this in our blogs
The idea behind Love creates Love is simple; to create a reciprocal loving and secure relationship between you and your baby which is mutually beneficial and long lasting. It is easy to communicate to your baby he/she is loved through activities such as holding your baby, singing and talking to your baby, making eye contact and responding to your baby’s needs. Love starts with respect and recognition of your baby’s needs, evolves through positive communication and understanding and is facilitated through physical touch and interaction. Touch is the ultimate way to communicate to someone that he/she is acknowledged, accepted and cared for. Even before we understand the significance of touch, our bodies crave it. Touch and skin contact has been shown to be more valued by infant mammals than even food (Harlow 1956).
Studies show that babies who are regularly massaged and touched cry less, sleep better and gain weight faster than those that are not (Field 1987, 1995). This is thought to be due to the fact that feel good hormones released during massage activate babies’ relaxation responses and therefore body functions are improved. It makes sense. We feel better when we are relaxed.
The fantastic thing about baby massage is it combines the five key factors which are seen to help increase a loving bond between parent and baby;
The benefits of baby massage are not just for infancy. Massage helps you tune in and listen to your baby, lets you observe your baby’s cues and become responsive to his/her needs. Through positive and reciporical interaction you are fulfilling your baby’s emotional needs and helping to create a loving secure attachment which studies now show is vital to enable healthy brain development. You are teaching your baby that the world is a loving place and helping to create a strong and secure emotional blueprint from which he/she can use to build other relationships. Consistent and repetitive care is seen to be the key factor (Bowlby 1969).
Touch and massage produce a hormone called Oxytocin known as “the love hormone”. Studies have shown it helps to combat levels of stress in the body, reduce anxiety and put the body and mind into a relaxed state. It also encourages our nurturing instinct and desire to help and take care of others (Francis et al., 2000; Williams et al., 2001; Caldwell and Young, 2006). It creates the magical feeling of having a bond with someone. Both your body and your baby’s body produce oxytocin when you have close physical contact or touch. Baby massage has also been shown to help with postnatal depression which some writers suggest could be caused by low levels of feel good hormones (Glover 1994).
We love science and research. “Love creates Love” may sound like a simple idea but it is built on information from studies of how the infant brain develops and how, as mammals, we react to touch.
There have been lots of studies done on the importance of positive interaction for infants and children. Sadly, much of the work focuses on children who have been exposed to neglect where high levels of stress hormones coupled with minimum adult interaction has resulted in permanent changes in their brain structure leading to impaired emotional wellbeing and difficulty in adjusting to stress and anxiety in adulthood (Rutter 1989 et al). There has been much work done on the idea that many emotional difficulties suffered by adults stem from early but poor interactions experienced as children. Childhood is the key time to create, experience and demostrate love.
In addition, the “Love Creates Love” concept follows ideas evolved from research produced by The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. The Center refers to a concept called “Serve and Return” to describe positive reciprocal interaction between a baby and parent. As the parent teaches, the baby learns, the parent responds with a positive cue and an association in the baby’s brain is made. These early interactions are vital to how the early infant brain becomes wired and responsive and help create the foundations for emotional intelligence (Goleman 1995). To find out more about research supporting baby massage click here.
Our amazing Italian lecturer Cristina la Villa created our first beautiful “Love Creates Love” circle. She shared it with her clients, friends and family. We have created one for you to share your love. You can download our “Love Creates Love” circle and send us a photo of you blossoming in pregnancy or with your baby, children, family and friends or upload onto social media with the hashtag lovecreateslove and/or loveblossomandberry. You can also connect with us via our Facebook page to upload photos, share experiences and help spread the Love creates Love campaign. Click here to download your Love Circle.
Have a look at our other resources on baby massage on the website. Visit our free resources section on our website and download our resources to help you learn at home. Join our online baby massage course which is available around the world by visiting our courses page. We have been teaching baby massage for over thirteen years and we love what we do. Click here to enrol online to learn baby massage with your baby.
Consider becoming a baby massage instructor and teach others the benefits of baby massage. All our courses cover the importance of social and emotional development of babies and children through positive interaction. Visit our courses page for more information.
We also now have a completely free online course to enable you to set up a Love Creates Love Group in your local area for parents and parents to be. Become a Love Creator and facilitate a group. For more details click here
Studies show that children who spend time in orphanages are at greater risk of not receiving the vital skin contact and interaction which is essential. Blossom & Berry runs the Little Blossoms Project with Little Baban Baby Massage in Malawi. We provide free training to orphanage staff, medics, midwives and women in the community to learn baby and child massage. The babies, children and staff all love this training. This program is funded by Blossom & Berry. If you would like to support us in this program please click here for more details.