Spotlight On Doula Mamas Doing Infant Massage

by Summer Menkee, CEIM

Who are the biggest supporters of Infant Massage? Doulas, Midwives and Pre-natal Yoga Teachers!  Two lovely and amazing birth professionals became mamas this summer, and I want to take a moment to share their Sacred Baby Massage testimonials with you:


Doula Mama Becca Gordon and Baby Ezra

Becca Gordon, CAPPA Certified Labor Doula, Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, Lactation Educator, Yoga Instructor; Co-Founder of Two Doulas Birth and Founder of Pura Mama.

“I have been giving Ezra massage almost everyday since you came over Summer, in between our afternoon walk and his bath/bedtime. Sometimes it is 15 minutes, sometimes an hour. I just get lost in it with him and he totally digs it too! It is my absolute favorite part of the day.  I’ve been getting us both undressed in prep for our bath, and massaging him with the sweet almond oil resting on my legs in the tub. It is so intimate and lovely. I almost always have a let down as we go. So sweet. I am so grateful and thankful that the universe put you in our path, so we could learn this magical skill. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Becca, and her husband Lee, initially came to my last workshop series at The Cradle Company when Ezra was just 3 weeks old.  Although they really enjoyed the class, Becca got mastitis the very next week.  Any mom who has experienced it knows how excruciatingly painful that is!  She needed to rest and get well at home, so instead of joining our next workshop series she opted for private instruction.  I leave it up to the moms, when they want to bring baby out; however, I’ve noticed that it’s a lot of stimulation for babies under 6 weeks old to be in a group setting so soon.  From the moment I walked into their home, to greet a now 2 month old Ezra, I could feel the oxytocin!  Ezra had just awoken from a nap, and was in the ideal (Infant Massage) state of “quiet alert.”  He took to our lesson like a champ, and enjoyed nearly a full hour of massage, with a couple breaks to pee on daddy and nurse on mommy.  It always amazes me that no matter how sleep deprived, or what recovery stage a new mother is in, this radiant joy energizes her to learn every new skill possible to keep her baby well and comforted.  Seeing Becca absolutely glowing in motherhood, I know that anyone lucky enough to work with her as a doula will be blessed every step of the way.  Her testimonial reminds me why I do this work in the first place.  To give parents the tools they need, technique and confidence, to massage their babies in the comfort of their own home.  It is an intimate ritual, creating the deepest bond unimaginable.  I say unimaginable, because that’s how childbirth is.  You can never imagine the intensity, joy, crazy pain, challenges and immense love you will feel until it happens to you!  I never imagined I would be massaging my baby daily.  It wasn’t even in my mind before he was born.  It was a gift I was given when he arrived, and something I now share with other moms (and dads) ready to dive in, heart first.

Baby Jai loves "Knee Press" (Gas & Colic Relief routine)

Baby Jai loves “Knee Press” (Gas & Colic Relief routine)

Keya Merah-Knoki, Registered Pregnancy Yoga and Children’s Yoga Teacher –Yoga Alliance, Certified Birth Doula –The Sanctuary, Family Herbalist – Founder, Hariatma Yoga Herbs.

“It was such a treat to have you come to my house for a private infant massage class!  At just three weeks post partum my baby boy was too new to be out and about, but ironically this time period is the most vulnerable for moms still trying to figure out how to soothe our new babies.  Having you share this ancient wisdom with us was such a relief.  After sharing the techniques with my husband, now we both perform these simple massages on our baby daily.  Usually during a diaper change, or sponge bath, we have massage play – I oil him up and massage those limbs, doing the milking technique and foot rubs you showed us.  Jai also loves the knee to belly press and butt massage.  I’m looking forward to learning more at your workshop in August.  He responds so well to this gentle touch, and we also love the smell and feel of the mustard seed oil.  Thank you Summer!!”

Keya was my prenatal yoga teacher every Tuesday night, throughout my second and third trimesters, at Yoga West.  Taking kundalini yoga was the best choice I made in pregnancy, and Keya’s energy really grounded me to do the hard work to prepare my body for the marathon of labor, and to enjoy every breath… I was ecstatic when my doula, Tania Jedian, asked if Keya (who was getting her doula certification at the time) could assist at my birth!  I got to have Keya’s amazing energy, and yoga strength, throughout all three days of my crazy long labor.  If you are looking for a doula who is sensitive, flexible and who challenges you with kickass yoga stretching and lunges during labor, Keya is your rock!  Fast forward to a year later- I get to teach my doula/yoga teacher how to massage her 3 week old baby in their home.  This was doubly special because Keya was present at my son Sage’s 6th day (of life) ceremony where he received his first massage from his grandma, from India.  I felt honored to share Legs and Feet massage routines to soothe her new baby in his first weeks of life! Jai’s umbilical cord wasn’t even off yet, which is the Indian way – gentle massages starting the second week, then the full body routine once the cord is gone.  It was a beautiful full circle… I was also in awe of Keya’s physical strength, and that same grounded energy, just 3 week postpartum  She is already back in action as a doula, helping other mamas do the unimaginable, which she herself just did a month ago!  And, massaging her baby everyday with daddy’s help.  Looking forward to working together again soon.  Kiss those juicy Jai cheeks, and massage that booty!

Doula Mama Keya Merah Nkonoki and Baby Jai

Doula Mama Keya Merah Nkonoki and Baby Jai

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