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Published: Thursday 30 June 2016

Meet Claire: she's been running classes for parents for over eight years, and for the last three years that's included baby massage. She's now also training with To Baby and Beyond to be a baby yoga instructor.

Name: Claire Currie

Lives: South Manchester

What do you teach? Baby massage: four classes per week, plus a monthly Saturday dads’ class and private four week courses on request. I’m also currently training as a baby yoga instructor.

How long have you been an instructor? Three years

What made you want to become an instructor? I have run a successful postnatal exercise business for eight years and felt that I could develop the brand by adding new class opportunities for mums in the area.

Have you always been an instructor? I am a qualified general and mental health nurse and spent 15 years of my career working as a health visitor. Baby massage was a skill I first learnt as a health visitor and quickly saw the benefits for mums and babies. Adding to my knowledge by completing the To Baby and Beyond training give me the opportunity and confidence to teach the classes as part of my business.

What’s your favourite part of your job? It's got to be the mums and dads who come to my classes. I know it's called 'baby' massage but for me the difference it makes to parents, in terms of improving mood, confidence and bonding, is what I really love about it!

How do you keep your skills up to date? I never stop reading! Whether that be traditional books on massage or childcare, or searching the Internet for latest research, I think it's crucial to continually update my knowledge and skills.

Do you have any favourite websites that you use? No, not really, I often encourage mums to use the NHS website though, because there's a lot of mis-information out there!

What qualities do you think are important in a baby massage instructor? I think you need to be flexible; things can often alter within a group and we have to adapt whilst remaining calm. Good communication skills and ability to manage change is key. You also have to be organised; there's often paperwork, planning, equipment, money etc to manage.

What benefits do you derive from ⁠⁠⁠massage? Wow, lots! I love spending the time with mums and dads and seeing them blossom as parents. I always feel more relaxed and calm after teaching a class - because I encourage the parents to focus on the 'present' and in doing this I reckon I'm practicing what I preach!

Have you learnt anything surprising about baby massage? I've learnt that absolutely every baby loves a massage - they may not enjoy every class but that's the important thing to get across to parents: massage is a relationship, it's not what you put on your hands, or even the strokes we perform, it's that babies are little human beings with their own individual personalities and the key is for baby and parent to create their own dance of massage and love.

What’s your top tip for baby massage? Do a little bit every day, whether that be tummy strokes at nappy change time, back strokes when playing on the floor or feet strokes when they're fussing… massage is there as a tool to be used and enjoyed any time.

Have you had an amusing experiences in your work as an instructor? There's usually something that makes us laugh at every class. A baby who rather loudly relieves their wind, or a first roll-over. Having a baby and meeting other mums to make friends and have a laugh is crucial.

Who would you most like to teach on one of your courses? Do you know what? There's no-one famous I'd want to teach… I thoroughly enjoy teaching anyone who is needing or wanting the benefits that massage brings.

Find Claire online:
Facebook: For Baby and Me: Pramactive and Baby Massage
Twitter: @4babyandmemcr

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