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Aquatic nurture – foundations for Water Parenting

In March some of Birthlight's land and water tutors attended the first Aquatic Nurture for Newborns course.

Here are a few thoughts from the tutors on why they consider Aquatic Nurture to be important to offer to new parents...

Birthlight Aquatic Nurture - How bathing a baby should be!

On 10th March, both the land-based and water-based tutors joined together at Calmababy for the first UK based Birthlight Aquatic Nurture Training with Francoise Freedman and Perrine Alliod.

It was our absolute pleasure to host the training,  to see old friends and also meet the tutors, whose names I'd previously only seen at the top of emails,  for the very first time.

Everyone agreed that early bathing experiences for newborns and their parents are focussed on 'cleaning' the baby.   First baths are often accompanied by nervous tension and are wholly unpleasant for both parent and child. Therefore bathing the baby becomes a rushed affair, something that is done to them and is usually punctuated by intense crying in the early weeks.

Minimal thought is given to the quality of the moment, the developmental aspects of deep, warm water and the potential for relaxation and connection.  

Birthlight Aquatic Nurture beautifully bridges the gap between aquanatal yoga and early baby swimming, while also gently weaving baby massage and yoga into the practice.

The intention is to slow down and facilitate the babies connection to their parents at the deepest level. Allowing them to trust and unfold in the warm water,  express their birth stories, and if we are lucky enough - to give us a little glimpse into their soul.

Since the training, I have had the delight of introducing Aquatic Nurture to eight families. Each of them began the session with a variation of the same statement, that their baby 'hates the bath and screams all the way through it!'

Every parent then gazed in wonder (and most shed a tear)  as their baby calmly floated in the deep warm bath, eyes wide open, relaxed and happy.

Alison Duff

As Birthlight Practitioners, be our work in the water or on land, we understand the importance of bonding and attachment immediately after birth and in those precious first weeks following. The foundations of family, the very basis of social stability and cohesion in our world, begin in these early weeks and months.

Francoise has developed ‘Aquatic Nuture’, a unique course which gives the opportunity to progress our own skills as teachers and to enhance the bond between new parents and their child from birth to four months.

Through soothing, calming handling in warm water baby baths, birthing pools and then larger swimming pools, parents can connect to their newborns’ communication and responses.  Practices may help parents through birth trauma, post-natal depression.

As teachers, it gives us a precious insight into enhancing family relationships, whilst building on our own professional expertise.  Having built trust and empathy with parents, there is then scope for them to enrol for further Birthlight classes, both in the pool and on land as their child grows through the coming years.

A course to be recommended.

Carol Anne Procter

As teachers in the Aquatic world, we all know how precious the time spent in the water can be for both parents and children. The first few months provide a wonderful window of opportunity to facilitate a ‘water’ relationship between the parent and the child.

The Aquatic Nurture course has been developed by Francoise to impart early Water Parenting skills to our parents from the earliest moments.  Creating space in from baby baths/tubs to warm pools for gentle, organic flowing movements that promote not only the holistic development of the baby but allow for deep connections to take place between parent and child.

As Birthlight Practitioners we are positioned to promote and enhance relationships on many deep levels within the families we connect with through our classes. This course helps to lay the early foundations of secure relationships for our parents and babies and compliments the earlier and later ‘Spirals of Joy’ that Birthlight courses underpin. Another, loop in the Birthlight continuum for our parents to enjoy.

Julie Kamara

Perrine Alliod shares her background and how she feels parents have this gift to naturally touch, connect, communicate and meet the needs of their child when they take the time to sit down for a moment, let go and recognize the innate skills of their baby.

Intuitive and improvised aquatic dance>

Nicole Sauseng shares her experience that the mothers in her case study gained a lot more safety in handling their baby during bathing. The mothers observe their babies and learn to read their cues. I could observe wonderful dialogues.

Aquatic nurture - wonderful dialogues >

Marion O'Connor shares how seeing the special time a mother and baby could enjoy together, and observing the evident beneficial outcomes was invaluably rewarding for her. It was humbling to see an experienced Birthlight teacher and mother open herself to the AquaNurture techniques, and their profound effects are a testament to the positive power of Birthlight practices.

Aquatic nurture healing>


Aquatic Nurture for Newborns course details >