Obtaining official recognition for any training course seems to be expected these days. We have spent many years investigating the possibility of getting some form of accreditation for the IAIM in the UK, but have been come up against several issues including:
- Trying to find an accreditation body which actually understands and/or respects the wonderful philosophy the IAIM upholds.
- Problems with University accreditations, which usually need to change or adjust the course/training to their own requirements.
As Professor Sue Frost of Huddersfield University said of the IAIM training:
"...to bring the IAIM training to university level would ruin an excellent course."
Endorsement of this wonderful training therefore come from renowned professionals who have knowledge of and appreciate the quality of our work, as well as our own students. We consider this has a far greater value than purchasing an academic accreditation, as we offer a unique training which is essentially non-academic, but practical and of proven efficacy.
We are currently undertaking our own National Evaluation to measure the effectiveness of infant massage and are in the process of gathering evidence from hundreds of parents/carers attending our infant massage classes nationwide.
Some of our professional endorsements come from:
Honorary Research Fellow, Attachment Research Unit, Dept. of Psychology, University Collage London, 2000 - 2003.
Sir Richard Bowlby became interested in the field of developmental psychology after thirty years working as a scientific photographer in some of the UK's leading medical research centres. He has spent many years studying the work of his father Dr John Bowlby, and now incorporates the current research findings on attachment theory into his presentations about children's early relationships.
"I had not come across infant massage in my studies about child development until I was invited to an International conference organised by International Association of Infant Massage (lAIM) in 2002. I soon realised that this particular form of infant massage was based on my father's work, and that it recognised the crucial importance of the early attachment relationship between baby and mother (or primary carer), and that I needed to investigate infant massage in greater detail. After some time studying the theory and practice carefully, and filming a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) teaching a class how to massage babies, I am now routinely including a description and video clips of it in my lectures. I consider that infant massage is a beautiful example of how maternal sensitivity can be enhanced at precisely the age when a baby's attachment bond is developing, and how much a mother and baby can benefit from the experience of loving touch."
"The truth is that the least-studied phase of human development remains the phase during which a child is acquiring all that makes him most distinctly human. Here is still a continent to conquer."Professor in Perinatal Psychobiology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London Honorary Senior Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, King's Cgollege, London Adjunct Professor, University of Rochester, NY, USA
Vivette Glover trained as a biochemist at Oxford University, did her BA in Biology in Oxford and her PhD at University College London. She has had a long term interest in biological psychiatry including post-natal depression.
Her publications include over 400 papers, with over 200 in peer reviewed journals. In 1997 Glover set up and became Director of the Fetal and Neonatal Stress Research Group. This is a multidisciplinary centre which aims to study fetal and neonatal stress responses, methods to reduce them and their long term effects. The effects of psychopathology in the mother, both on the developing fetus and on the neonate, are also being studied. This is a new field of study and involves linking obstetrics, paediatrics, psychology and psychiatry.
Some of her professional activities include: Treasurer of the Marcé Society (International Society for the Study of Mental Illness associated with Childbirth). Member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Postnatal Illness.Member of Expert panel for Tommy's Campaign Accreditation Scheme. Member of MRC advisory committee on Fetal Pain. Member of the Forum for Maternity and the Newborn, RSM Member of British Psychological Society Group "Very Young Children as Potential Offenders: preventative measures" Member of Scientific Advisory Council for Postpartum Support International.
VIVETTE GLOVER ENDORSES THE IAIM METHODS.
The Baby Massage Team, who were all trained by the IAIM and led by Cherry Bond, has been part of several research studies. Vivette Glover states:
"It is known that mothers with postnatal depression have, on average, worse interaction with their infants, and this appears to be linked, in some cases, with impaired emotional and cognitive development of the child. Our research has been to determine whether attending a baby massage class can help with the mood of mothers with postnatal depression, and also help their interaction with their infants. The baby massage classes were held at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, organised by Cherry Bond, and run by instructors all trained by the International Association for Infant Massage. The current study was undertaken to follow up the pilot research study conducted by Onozawa and her colleagues (2001) in our group which showed that mothers with postnatal depression did have an improved relationship with their young babies, after attending a course of baby massage classes.
In the new research, a larger sample of mothers was included and the mother-infant pairs have been followed up to one year. The mother baby relationship is assessed by videoing them playing together. The main focus of the study was to compare mothers with postnatal depression who attended baby massage classes with mothers with postnatal depression who attended a support group. Both attended about 6 sessions from when the baby was about 9 weeks old until 20 weeks. In addition to this, a group of non-depressed mothers was included to see how a"normal" group of mothers perform on the questionnaires and mother-infant interaction measures used in the study. The results of this study indicate that, although the mothers in the support group did show reduced depression scores after attending their sessions, a significantly greater proportion of mothers who attended baby massage classes showed a clinical reduction in their scores on the depression questionnaire (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale - EPDS).
Percentage of mothers in each intervention group showing clinically significant reductions in their depression scores
When the change in scores on the mother-infant interaction scales were examined for each group at the one-year follow-up, it was found that the group who attended baby massage classes had a pattern of improvement that showed that they were now similar to the non-depressed group. The mothers who attended the support group continued to be significantly worse than the non-depressed group on this measure. Finally, 44.4% of the mothers who attended baby massage classes still reported massaging their babies at one year.
In conclusion, this larger follow up study has shown that mothers with postnatal depression who attended the baby massage group had a better rate of recovery than mothers who attended a support group, and that they had a better long term relationship with their baby. The mothers enjoyed the practice of massaging, their baby and it had a long term benefit for both themselves and their child."
Onozawa, K., Glover, V., Adams, D., Modi, N., & Kumar, R. (2001). Infant massage improves mother-infant interaction for mothers with postnatal depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 63.
This research was funded by The Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health.Senior Lecturer in Therapeutic Education at Roehampton University, London and noted Childhood Campaigner
"The quality and professionalism of the IAIM infant massage trainings are second to none, and the IAIM constitutes perhaps the world's most important and culturally innovative Social Movement to emerge in recent decades. Research shows conclusively that healthy early attachment is essential in human development, and the IAIM training is by far the best institutional approach on the planet for nurturing and empowering early parent-child attachment relationships."Psychologist Author of Building the Bonds of Attachment
"As a Psychologist who specializes in working with high-risk families as well as children and youth with significant difficulties forming a trusting relationship with their parents, teachers, or caregivers, I am very impressed with the value of infant massage in the development of attachment security between parent and infant along with various related benefits to the family. The IAIM offers an excellent training programme for individuals who wish to train parents in the safe and effective use of infant massage. It is a very practical programme which offers trainees both the theoretical framework for infant massage as well as the skills to both develop positive relationships with parents and to teach them the basics of infant massage. Parents and their babies are treated with the deepest respect so that the massage is given within the context of sensitivity and safety for both the baby and parent. Infant massage can definitely make a difference in providing a strong foundation for the family and IAIM is an excellent organization for training individuals who are able to teach parents this most important way of being with their infants."Neonatologist with interest in infant behavior and parent -infant bonding.
Dr Marshall Klaus is a Paediatrician and Neonatalogist whose research and work have focused on the humanizing of care given to the family in the perinatal period. He is co-editor of Care of the High-Risk Noenate, a mainstay in the intensive care nursery, as well as being co-author of several other books including Your Amazing Newborn and Bonding: Building The Foundations of Secure Attachment and Independence. Dr Klaus also serves as Adjunct Professor of Paediatrics at the University of California in San Francisco and states:
"I am familiar with the advantages of infant massage and skin to skin contact for both the growing premature infant and the full term infant. These techniques help the parents build a bond with their premature and full term baby. The International Association of Infant Massage is especially skilled in teaching this technique to parents. Infant massage is very useful in calming infants and enhancing growth."Dip COT, MSc Consultant Occupational Therapist in Neonatology and Early Intervention & NIDCAP Trainer, Winnicott Baby Unit, St Mary's NHS trust
"Reading the baby, the art of tuning into the baby's behavioural cues, is a significant component of the IAIM approach. The dialogue between the baby and parent, an important influence on every child's development, needs particularly fine tuning in the case of preterm infants whose sensitivity to stimulation makes them highly vulnerable, easily overwhelmed and difficult to read. Massaging delicate babies in the neonatal unit can easily be such an overwhelming experience and understanding the link between touch and communication is an essential part of safely guiding parents and babies towards confident, loving contact. As a developmental specialist on a neonatal intensive care unit that employs an IAIM trained nurse I see this approach as a valuable contribution to an individualised developmental programme that sees the baby as an active agent determining how we respond. Listening to the baby and the parents comes first and this makes the IAIM way amenable for very small babies who may not be ready for massage at all but who will benefit, now and in the future, from the power of comforting parental touch."