There is an expectation that after your soldier returns, life together will be perfect. But time away can put a strain on even the strongest relationships between partners and young children. Polly Chadwick, from the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), tells us how infant massage can be an effective way to reconnect… 

A HUG or nurturing touch can be more effective at conveying your feelings than a thousand words.

Infant massage has become very popular with Service families and is hugely beneficial for babies and parents.

It can give confidence to a returning parent after time away from the family, can help you find new friendships and can also help with postnatal depression.

Infant massage works by using a non-fragranced vegetable oil and giving soothing holds and rhythmic strokes to each area of your baby’s body.

Wiltshire-based military mum Zoe joined an IAIM course in her area and it opened up a new friendship and support group.

She explained: “I didn’t know anyone when I moved to Wiltshire so finding this group not only made me some amazing friends, who are all in the same boat, but gave me a chance to learn fantastic new skills to do with my baby.

“When dad came home we were able to show him what we had learnt so he too could do the massage which really made him feel connected and part of the family after months away – it saved me when I was feeling alone and a bit lost as a new mum.”

IAIM currently runs classes in many areas where Service families are based in the UK and abroad including Wiltshire, Somerset, Hampshire, North Yorkshire, Northern Ireland and Cyprus.

Teaching infant massage can also be a good career option.

You can find out more about the IAIM instructor programme or discover classes in your area by visiting

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