Published: Thursday 12 October 2017

Meet Sandra, who hails from lovely Cornwall. She has many strings to her bow, and learnt to teach baby massage with us. Over to you Sandra...

Name: Sandra Dumas

Lives: Marhamchurch (Bude, Cornwall)

What do you teach? Baby massage

How long have you been an instructor? I cannot believe it is going to be my 6th year.

What made you want to become an instructor? I am a massage therapist and offer pregnancy massage and maternity reflexology. I enjoy working with mums-to-be, but felt the experience was incomplete as I rarely got the chance to meet their babies. I started researching articles on baby massage and the rest is history.

Have you always been an instructor? No, and I am still offering my complementary therapies alongside the baby massage classes.

What’s your favourite part of your job? Meeting new mums, dads, carers and their little ones. I just find it so rewarding. Seeing the parents bond with their babies is a lovely experience. I also love the way babies stretch their legs and relax their whole body when they are enjoying their massage.

How do you keep your skills up to date? I like to read the To Baby and Beyond newsletter and follow the Facebook page. I like the NCT and BabyCentre websites and Pinterest.

What qualities do you think are important in a massage instructor? I think you have to be approachable, friendly and non-judgemental. For example, some mums will choose not to breastfeed and might feel guilty about it. I always say that their health and happiness is just as important and never pass any judgement.

What benefits do you derive from massage? I have met a lot of lovely mums and babies over the years and had lots of cuddles at the end of the class. I love seeing how baby massage can have such a positive effect on babies and parents. I also enjoy seeing mums bonding and making new friends.

Have you learnt anything surprising about baby massage? I think I am always impressed with the way the “Calming point” and the tummy routine are working.

What’s your top tip for massage? Not to rush and keep time at the end for mums to chat. I also like to send text messages if a mum does not come one week to make sure they are okay and that they have been missed. I like to be as inclusive as possible.

Have you had an amusing experience in your work as an instructor? I don’t have any amusing experience as such to talk about. But one thing which makes me smile every time is the way the babies are looking for me when I am moving around the group. I am French and still have my strong accent and it looks like they are mesmerised by it. I have been asked to record my voice to soothe them... It could be an idea for the future!

Who would you most like to teach on one of your courses? I think I would love to teach my younger self. When my first child was born (in England) I did not know a lot of people, nor a lot of English and I think if I had known about a baby massage group it would have helped me a lot in reassuring me that I was doing okay. I would love to teach more dads as well, I have mainly mums coming to the classes.

You can find Sandra online on her website or her Facebook page.

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