For many new parents, there are more questions than answers when it comes to caring for their new bundle of joy.
Jersey City Medical Center will strive to answer these questions when it comes to the areas of baby nutrition and massage by holding separate workshops in these areas beginning next month.
Classes will be begin on Saturday, March 23 in the OB/gyn conference room at the hospital (355 Grand Street, Jersey City), from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for baby massage (cost is $40 per person or $60 per couple), followed by a workshop in nutrition ($40 per person) from 1 – 2:30 p.m. Additional classes will be held on both subjects on a monthly basis.
“Touch is very important and massaging your newborn is an excellent way to create a bond,” said Laura Lacey, a licensed massage therapist and certified nutritional consultant, who will teach the classes. “Massage is good for the intestinal health of the baby, helps with communication and stimulates circulation. It can give parents a better understanding of the baby’s cues, and help the baby relax and sleep better.”
Lacey, who encourages parents to bring their babies to this class, believes that massage is something that can be practiced on children as they age, as many toddlers will learn to ask for and enjoy a massage or back rub.
The nutritional class will focus on the baby’s feeding during the first year. “We’ll take a look at what mom should eat if she’s breastfeeding and what foods to start with when feeding the baby,” she said. “It’s important to know when to start with solid foods and to avoid those foods that can be dangerous.”
She said that certain foods given too early can cause food allergies, while others can cause problems with their immature digestive systems. She also will dispel some common myths (for example, that it’s good to introduce a baby to solid foods by giving them rice cereal) and how best to prepare foods.
“We’re hoping that many new mothers and fathers will take advantage of these classes,” said Dr. Michael Bimonte, chair of the OB/GYN department at Jersey City Medical Center. “They will give parents the kind of ‘hands on’ information that can help them get their baby off on the right foot.”
Participation in both classes is limited. To register or for more information, call Laura Lacey at (201) 927-0648.