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Infant massage training in Romania PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 October 2008 00:00
Marketing Medicine is delighted to support Pauline Carpenter and Anita Epple on their trip to Bucharest, Romania.  There, they will train 25 parent/child support workers who are working with vulnerable mothers, foster parents and childcare workers to become Qualified Infant Massage Teachers.

Emanuela Chiritescu and Colleagues
The decision to organise the trip came about after Anita and Pauline became aware of the amazing work that Emanuela Chiritescu was doing in Romania to support vulnerable young mothers with babies.  Up until 2003 her efforts were generally directed towards abandoned babies in institutions who were being cared for by volunteers from around the world.  Tragically, the babies did not thrive, and their slow development within this environment prompted Emanuela and her colleagues to find families that would foster them instead.   They had the resources to support 10 babies in foster families.  However, they were intensely aware that this was but a drop in the ocean.  There were still thousands of babies abandoned in Romania every year who were not being fostered and were therefore not receiving the personal love, care and attention they truly deserved and needed to thrive and grow to be happy, well-rounded and socially capable individuals.

The impossible task of finding, and subsequently funding, enough families to foster the abandoned babies prompted Emanuela to contemplate other ways that might make a difference.  Consequently, she came to the realisation that supporting the vulnerable mothers, who were more likely to abandon their babies, was the way forward.  Emanuela consider that the actual level of abandonment would be reduced and, more importantly, there would be a much healthier outcome for the babies concerned.

The Maternal Centre
In 2006, Emanuela and associates set up the Maternal Centre that now hosts up to seven mothers and nine children at any one time.  Within the safe, nurturing space of the Centre, the young women, who are either in the last trimester of their pregnancy or with newborn babies, have their emotional needs supported and their physical needs met.   Here each mother has the opportunity to learn about their baby and to become familiar with them, so that a secure attachment is more likely to form, and abandonment is less likely to occur

Still Supporting All Babies
Emanuela’s team also continued to support and work with the abandoned babies who live in the many institutions in Romania.  But these babies remain desperate for the love, care and attention that both the Maternal Centre and fostered babies are fortunate to experience and thrive on, so Emanuela et al are keen to find ways of improving their life experiences as much as they can. 

Implementing Infant Massage
Anita and Pauline believe it would be beneficial for all the babies, from all settings, the parents in the Maternal Centre and the foster parents, if they offered the Infant Massage Teacher Training to Emanuela, her colleagues and associates.   Simply because, using Infant Massage as a tool will allow them to:
  • Support the bonding and attachment process in a sensitive, non-stigmatising environment, for both the vulnerable parents in the Maternal Centre and the foster parents who have welcomed a baby into their family
  • Help raise parental confidence, in particular, for those in the Maternal Centre
  • Encourage an understanding of each individual baby, no matter what setting they are being raised in
  • Promote physical well being for all babies, no matter where they live
  • Introduce positive touch, which we all, as humans, need from birth and beyond and should never be denied

Funding Resources for the Training
Touch-Learn is funding the training, the training handbooks, Pauline and Anita’s flight and accommodation and the refreshments for the training days.  However, as you will all be aware, certain resources are also needed so that the 25 students can learn the routine and carry out their teaching practise sessions with parents.  The funding available to support the Maternal Centre and the other work Emanuela’s team do is limited and they can not afford the materials required.

If you have any dolls, bottles, mats, CDs, or cash that you can spare, please let us know as soon as possible.  You can either email Pauline on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Anita on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call Pauline on  01908 261274  or  07773 398894  or at the Touch-Learn head office on  01889 566222 .

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