Baby yoga

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Baby yoga

Baby yoga
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hello, this is Alison from Cornwall. One of my mums is going to bring a friend to Baby yoga whose baby is about 3 months old with Downs Syndrome and a hole in the heart. This will be her first venture out with baby to a group. Re the Downs and Hole in heart any tips, contra indications advice please most welcome, thanks very much.
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Thu, Apr 12 2007 10:37 AM In reply to
Jojo

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Hi Alison

I hae worked with an older Downs baby and have the Yoga for the Special Child Basic Certificate, I also have a special child of my own who loves his yoga!

I would reccomend that you have a really good chat with the Mum about her baby and what his needs are. Advise her to take everything slowly and keep eye contact as much as possible so that she can feel what he likes and dislikes. It is teh same as with any abby, but she probably needs to be even more aware and connected as do you. Have her next to you in the group so you can keep an extra eye. She may also be extra stressed and need extra support, especially if she is ahving trouble accepting her childs needs. Teach her as much as you can about relaxation techniques, safe carrying and , most importantly, breathing! She may need you more than the baby does!

Babies with heart problems MUST NOT BE INVERTED so avoid things that bring the legs over the head or move the heart higher than the head such as the plough, rollercoaster adn obviouslyhead/shoullderstand.

Additionally, babys with Downs may also have quite floppy hips and unstable pelvis so emphasis hip closing and avoid hip opening rotations. The knee bends and twists are usually fine, as are the prone positions on the flat..

I would thoroughly reccommend Sonia Sumars book "Yoga for the Special Child", but gernerally if you practice with caution and stick to the basic, gentle moves the yoga should be very beneficial. As always, trust your instincts and the Mum's and if the baby doesn't like it or it feels wrong STOP.

Yoga is fantasitc for special children, so find out as much information as you can and enjoy!

OM Shanthi

Jo

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Fri, Apr 13 2007 3:24 AM In reply to
francoisef

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Hi Alison,

It's difficult to give quick general advice about situations like the one you write about. This is because all Downs' babies are affected differently and their general looseness of joints need slightly different adjustments according to age and condition. Jay Ehrlich is a Birthlight teacher who has done special training in this area and she has recently offered the first short course in Yoga for Special Babies as a Birthlight CPD in London. I strongly recommend it to all Baby Yoga teachers who may have special babies join their classes.

Jay may be able to offer a short list of Do's and Don'ts for integrating special babies in general Baby Yoga classes (in the same way that there is such a list to integrate pregnant women in general yoga classes) but please look out for her next course! In the meantime, do contact Jay through the website as she may be able to help you for this urgent case. Some of the people who have done Jay's course may also be able to help if Jay is too busy at this time.

All best wishes

Francoise

Francoise
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Mon, Apr 16 2007 11:08 AM In reply to
alison mold

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Hello, and a thank you to francoise and Jo for my reply. I also e mailed Jay who replied. All great advice which I followed and bought the book and read it all weekend.

The lady came to class this morning with her baby ,Natalia, a beautiful 4 month old. One would have hardly noticed that she had Downs. mum filled in forms for me and we chatted and she seemed o.k. it was a quiet class only about 6 others with little babes. About half way through Mum just burst suddenly into uncontrcllable crying, and left. I went after her and she sobbed her heart out in my arms for about ten minutes. (The rest of the class apparently took themselves from my notes!).

Mum was very apologetic but just wanted to go, which she did. This was the very first time she had tried to do anything with 'normal' people and babies, and she said seeing the other babies was too much. She already has a little girl of Nursery age who, I am toId is very bright and active.

I was not prepared for how her distress has distressed me. I am not sure whether to contact her.I said to continue to keep trying to come if she wanted to, and feel free to go at any time, but I doubt that she will. It is a shame she has lots of Physio, and something called 'portage',-but tis all 'medical', and not fun.

I also feel I have failed! And there is such a lovely soul shining in that baby. Apart from the friend who brought her along no one else knew there was anything different with her little girl.

thanks any way,

Alison.

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Mon, Apr 16 2007 12:00 PM In reply to
lizzie33

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Dear Alison

You have not failed in any way! My heart goes to you your mum and her little baby. This is very difficult for all concerned.

It is hard for us not to be emotional when these things happen. You have been a tremendous support to this lady. Those tears have been waiting to be free for a while and you provided a safe place for this to happen. More importantly you provided that very strong shpoulder for her to cry on. Well done. Try to give yourself a little bit of time and space. Have some reflection on all the good you have done for this lady and her baby.

When the time is right for you a phone call might be the answer. Does she live near you perhaps arrange a one to one with her more to give her the opportunity to chat with you about coming back to class. She will be feeling embarrassed about what has happened. She needs to know that you did not mind the tears. That it is a very normal response and that the others in class would love her to return. (don't have her thinking you have all been talking about her after she left) Practice some relaxation for yourself and the way around this will come to you.

Have you seen "the welcome to holland" hand out. I was at an IAIM agm many years. ago. we had a speaker who was mum of a downs baby with cardiac problems. She read this to us at the end of her very emotional talk. I do not think there was a dry eye in the house. I can send you a copy -- if only for yourself to read.

I have shared many tears of sorrow as well as those of joy with mums over the years. The ones from sorrow leave me very drained emotionally. I have had to work hard to help myself through as I have to be strong to go back to the class the following week. Not always easy. What job is easy all the time?

Believe it or not I have 3 downs babies in my classes at the moment. All born in the same hospital and with in a day of each other. One of the mums is very positive and has been an amazing support to the others. She also has a very bright alert active toddler. I am very sure she would talk to your mum (phone or e-mail) if that is what transpires.

well done Alison you have done a great job so far and you will find the answer to continue in whatever way is right. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Do keep us informed

Liz

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Mon, Apr 16 2007 3:46 PM In reply to
Jojo

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Hi Alison

I totally agree with everything Liz has said. Don't feel you've failed. I still need to cry my heart out about Theo sometimes, although it happens less often as time goes by, and it's usually only after doing yoga and then being with someone I can trust that I am able to let it out. Otherwise I know that I am carrying it inside for days and it comes out in other ways and affects everyone (I snap at my kids and husband and am generally horrible!). By creating a safe place you have allowed this Mum to let go of some of the weight she has been carrying. It is very hard to mix with "normal" babies and brings out a lot of feelings that you are often quite ashamed to feel, which doesnt help either!

When you have recovered yourself, please do contact this Mum and offer her one to one until she feels able to come to a class again. I think you will have to make the first move as she is probably embarrasssed, but if it was me I'd be so grateful to know that you were there as support. All Mums should be able to ask for as much help as they need, but special Mums sometimes find it hard to ask and it can feel very lonely.

As far as coping wiht the distress yourself, it is only natural to empathise but you must try to distance yourself a little in order to avoid taking on the mothers "baggage". It's the same as when you are a Mum, you must look after your own mind and body, in order to be strong enough to help someone else. See her and the baby as unique individuals who need to get to know each other just as any Mum and baby do. Try to be as positive as possible and help Mum to see what her baby can do, not concentrate on the negatives as the medical people so often do.

hang in there!

OM shanthi

Jo

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Tue, Apr 17 2007 7:34 PM In reply to
francoisef

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Hi Alison,

You did extremely well in the circumstances and your class showed you their support. Give this mum some time and then perhaps give her a call to let her know that her baby would benefit a lot from the Baby Yoga class. As you say, resources offered on the NHS are fine but the fun and the social element would give this little girl a lot of joy and brighten the interaction with her mother in a special fun time for both. Perhaps this is what you could say and then from class to class the physical benefits will become clear and you will be cruising into the spiral of joy and well being...

I had a similar case not so long ago with a lovely baby who was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy at 3 months; mum and baby disappeared for a few weeks and then came back and I included special eye tracking exercises that were specially for the benefit of this baby but no one else in the class knew. Perhaps this mother would like you to assure her that you will keep her baby's condition confidential besides her friend knowing.We need to respect parents' wishes to either go public (sometimes very loudly) or on the contrary to be very private with their special babies when they come to our classes.

Whatever happens, all best to you and to this family

Francoise

Francoise