New mums and bubs club helping new Geraldton parents connect

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Lisa FavazzoGeraldton Guardian
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Parker Morrell, 7 months, getting a baby massage.
Camera IconParker Morrell, 7 months, getting a baby massage. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

A new mothers and babies program which aims to help Geraldton parents who have “lost their village” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is becoming so popular it now has a waiting list.

A local practitioner and not-for-profit group has put complimentary massages on the agenda for a few lucky Geraldton bubs in the past month.

Clancy Canley, 8 months, with mum Thérèse Cobley.
Camera IconClancy Canley, 8 months, with mum Thérèse Cobley. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

Mindful Body owner Cath Dalle put on the classes at Railway Health Hub with Ngala funding, offering a soothing space for mothers and babies to relax and connect.

“Touch is a very powerful element in human bonding. Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and prolonged eye contact are also important,” Ms Dalle said.

“Infant massage encompasses and supports all these vital aspects of relationship-building between parent and child.”

Darcy Reid, 7 months, with mum Dylan Reid.
Camera IconDarcy Reid, 7 months, with mum Dylan Reid. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

Julia Cable, parent co-ordinator with Parenting Connection WA, which is run by family support organisation Ngala, said the program strengthened the relationship between bubs and parents.

“Baby massage helps promote bonding and attachment, develops confidence and trust, and can improve circulation and digestion,” she said.

She said the program helped new parents find friendship and community in a safe and supportive space. “Some women have had to choose between their mother and their partner ... we want to support parents,” she said.

Liezel Jankowitz, 7 months, getting a massage from her mum Cam Jankowitz.
Camera IconLiezel Jankowitz, 7 months, getting a massage from her mum Cam Jankowitz. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

Ms Cable said the program was so popular it had a long waiting list for next term.

Ms Cable said stakeholders were still considering whether to fund another round of classes, but she was hopeful Ngala would support the program again.

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