Family Ties: Linda Storm shares, “A Personal Story of Mother & Daughter Becoming Infant Massage Educators”

Several years ago, a student in my training shared that her mother had massaged her when she was a baby and that she was a CIMI (Certified Instructor of Infant Massage / Certified Educator of Infant Massage). I found this very intriguing.

Over the four days, I learned more about her experience and how that encouraged her to take the training to teach other moms. After the training, I wanted to learn more about her mother, so I called her.

Carole was so excited to share her experience with infant massage. She shared that after nursing school, she was offered a job to work in the NICU at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH. It turned out that it was at the same time that John H. Kennel and Marshall H. Klaus were researching bonding and wrote the book Maternal-Infant Bonding.

She would see them during their rounds. Carole shared that part of her job was to support the parents in discovering their baby’s personality. The goal was to encourage parent/baby bonding. Also on staff at the time was Avory Fanaroof, who wrote The Care of the High-Risk Neonate with Klaus. During this time, she found and read the book Touching by Ashley Montequ.

Carole & KristinShe realized the importance of touch for the families she was working with. It helped bring together all that she was involved with at the hospital. In 1981, her husband’s work took them to New Hampshire. While pregnant with her first child, she read Loving Hands: The Traditional Indian Art of Baby Massage by Frederick Laboyer. This supported her holistic and natural methods that were popular at the time. It also solidified what she had learned while working at Rainbow Baby Hospital.

After her daughter was born, she followed the book and massaged her and her other two children.

She was always involved with the La Leche League. In 1988, during a La Leche meeting she learned that Jody Wright was going to do a training just 2 hours away from where she lived. Carole was so excited, she wrote Jody a five page letter to apply for the training.

Carole lived in a small town in NH. After the training, she was able to find a space above the library. Her midwife and husband (a pediatrician) would recommend her to their mothers. She would also go to parents home and teach them.

Though she no longer teaches infant massage, she believes in the work. Carole was so excited when her daughter Kristin decided to take the training with me in Springfield, VA. Now Kristin is carrying on in the work she experienced as a child and has utilized as a mother.

How interesting how the work of infant massage weaves through a family’s life.

About Linda Storm: A trainer with Infant Massage USA and the International Association of Infant Massage, Linda conducts 4-day trainings across the US and certifies Students to become Certified Educators of Infant Massage.