A mum from Hoghton is starting a new baby massage venture after deciding to quit her teaching job during maternity leave.
Jacqueline said: “I think lockdown has made many people reassess their lives and that’s pretty much what happened.
“My maternity leave ended as we went into lockdown so I had extended leave with my one year old and four year old before he started school. I found the time incredibly precious and to honest, I didn’t want it to end.
“I absolutely love teaching but I don’t love all the work at evenings and weekends and missing this important time with my own babies, so I just decided to give up work without much of a plan.”
Jacqueline, who has been qualified in Swedish massage and beauty for 15 years, decided she’d try to combine this skill with her love of babies.
Having taken multiple baby massage courses in the past, Jacqueline used lockdown to complete diplomas in children’s mental health and mindfulness.
She said: “I have a huge passion for wellbeing and mental health. For new parents, especially at the moment, it is so important to allow time to just stop, relax and allow yourself some time without any distractions.
“Massaging your baby really helps to build strong bonds, which is particularly helpful for postnatal depression where these bonds may not feel like they’re coming naturally.”
Jacqueline is keen to bring a social element to the classes, and for parents to feel like they’re in a safe place.
“One of the main draws to baby classes for me was meeting up with other new parents, chatting, sharing troubles, etc., and I’ve made lifelong friends. I’m keen we have plenty of time to chat afterwards so people can build those support networks.
“Just leaving the house can be a challenge for some new parents. I want people to feel they can turn up without stress, somewhere that it feels comfortable, where they don’t have to dress up or do their make-up. Knowing they’re going somewhere accepting and where everyone’s in the same boat, everyone understands what you’re going through, a safe place.”
For more information visit the Zen Baby Facebook page.
Have you tried baby massage? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.