After being able to pass stools easily from birth, at around the age of 4 weeks she started having to exert incredible pressure to pass very soft stools. The paediatric surgeon our paediatrician referred us to examined her and asked for X rays which showed that she had a spasm in her anal muscle that led to her inability to pass even the softest stool, as well as her extreme discomfort caused by gas retention.

He scheduled a surgical procedure to enlarge her sphincter and ease the spasm for the following week. He originally wanted to perform the surgery the following day but we asked for an extra week in the hope that the problem would disappear as quickly as it had appeared.

Quite by chance, the day after this consultation, I took Billie for her first visit to Laura's baby spa. From the moment we entered the room she was blissfully happy and calm. She took to the flotation immediately and savoured the massage. In the early hours of the following morning we were delighted to wake up to a very dirty nappy.

The visit to Laura's baby spa had cured the problem and the paediatrician and surgeon were astounded when we told them!

Caryn Goodman-Myers

Thank you so much for been such an amazing part of Leila's first year. Your baby spa was a real sanctuary for me in the early day's with Leila. When I first came to your spa, Leila was about 2 months old, and I was home alone with her most of the time.

I really looked forward to coming to your warm, scented space where I could relax with gentle music playing while Leila was doing something meaningful. The swim and the massage were so good for her, and I know that she will carry that experience somewhere in her memory always.

Once Leila was older, the lessons progressed, and she loves the water. I hope there will be space for her in the pool again soon.

Jenny Sandler

Dru was born is water and half a day later was back in the warm serene environment he was used to for so many months. He was immediately calmed and relaxed in the Baby Spa and would bounce up and down with glee at times.

What a lovely welcome into this world. Ever since then he has been drawn to water in any shape and form. He demonstrated so powerfully the cleansing, calming, rejuvenating and healing properties of water.

Christina Guberman

Your baby spa was like a ray of light to me in a time which seemed to be surrounded by a lot of darkness.

The birth of my first child was supposed to be an amazing and beautiful experience, one which was suppose to bring so much joy and happiness yet having a little baby suffer from colic shattered all those expectations. The sleepless nights, the crying... I felt so alone and helpless. I went from nurse to doctor to chiropractor yet nothing seemed to help calm this fretful little being and my nerves were in shreds.

A friend told me about your baby spa and I decided to give it a try. From the minute I walked into your treatment room a sense of calm came over me and my little one. Little Jamie absolutely adored the spa, the movement and pressure of the water soothed his sore tummy and helped the trapped gas to escape. The massage afterwards calmed and comforted him and I could finally start to marvel at the beauty of my new baby. He started sleeping better during the day as well as the night.

Not only was it great for little Jamie but I got to meet mums who were in the same position as me! I stopped feeling so alone and this was a real turning point for me as a mother. I really looked forward to our spa sessions as it provided me with a great support structure.

As he got older I noticed how excited he would get when he would realised that we were on our way to swimming.

Jamie is almost three now and absolutely loves swimming! Thanks to the Baby spa and the swimming program that Laura has developed he was able to breathe by himself in the pool by the age of 20 months! He swims like a little fish and will always find comfort in the water due to the great introduction that he had at the baby spa!

Laura, your baby spa truly is a blessing! You have helped me more than you will ever know.

Karen Barnard

Thanks for the wonderful experience!

KarenMedia Specialist

Apart from the fact that my twin daughters love it, it strengthens and affords them more opportunity to exercise while I relax.

Nicolette JoubertAttorney

There is such an advantage to getting baby used to water early on. He kicks around so it seems to make him more aware with what he can do with his body.

Catherine MawmanAccountant

This is an activity for the baby. The baby actively participates. Most baby activities are really quite passive.

Molly Gartland

I loved how you showed me to how to support his head so that he can float on his own. He loves the freedom.

Fiona Scheder-BierchinGP and Clinical Psychologist

For me as a mother, it is wonderful to see my daughter explore and enjoy movement so much. I think there is great value for children to experience this.

Delphine OlivierPhysiotherapist

Laura has run a swimming school in Cape Town for more than three decades. This is widely acknowledged as being one of the best swimming schools in South Africa. She has embraced scientific advances to reconcile psychological confidence and physical independence in children in water. That this can be achieved in infants is testimony to her vision and has been a source of great reassurance to many parents.

Having established a confidence in water, Laura has a holistic approach to the mental and physical benefits that can be provided with a variety of "water therapies". This today, embodies the principle that throughout life, a healthy mind flourishes in a healthy body.

I believe this aspect of her work will become increasingly important in a hectic world driven by exploding technology where it is difficult to find serenity and equanimity. In the face of escalating healthcare costs, she emphasises that prevention is better than cure and responsibility for your own wellbeing is a lifelong commitment.

Ian D LearmonthMB ChB, FRCS, FRCS (Ed), FRCS (SA) Orth

Nico visited the Baby spa for the first time at exactly 9 weeks old. That night, he slept through from 6.30pm till 8am and we have never looked back! I have no doubt this deep, contented sleeping pattern was induced by the pure joy, relaxation and also invigoration he experienced at the Baby spa.

Nico is my second child. I wish I had known of the Baby spa when I had my first child....this opportunity to witness such young babies demonstrate intense happiness at their physical surroundings is unique.

The spotlessly clean, white and peaceful ambience of the Baby spa combined with Laura's gentle wisdom and experience will instill calm confidence in even the most exhausted and anxious new mother. If I am lucky enough to have a third child, I believe in the amazing benefits of the Baby spa enough that I will bring him or her in her first week of life.

Dr Emma SalisburyBSc, MBChB, MRCP(UK)

The most fabulous experience. Una, Tristan and I enjoyed every moment and are already looking forward to our next visit.

Kirsten

I went from nurse to doctor to chiropracter yet nothing seemed to help calm my fretful little baby… then a friend told me about Baby Spa… The Baby Spa was like a ray of light to me… having a little baby suffer from colic, the constant sleepless nights and crying left my nerves in shreds.

Karen

The movement and pressure of the water soothed his sore tummy… the massage afterwards calmed and comforted him… he started sleeping better during the day and night.

Karen

Laura and her assistant were both incredibly nice and calm and my daughter enjoyed being spoiled with her post-swim massage.

Mia Brnicovic

Our daughter Billy, born prematurely, was spared medical intervention due to the stimulation of movement whilst in the water at Baby Spa.

Caryn Goodman

Going to the Baby Spa was one of the highlights of my maternity leave. The Baby Spa provided the most incredible calm, relaxing and nurturing environment for my daughter to start exploring the water.

My daughter was born six weeks early and was very small so the warmth of the Baby Spa was perfect for her. From the very first visit she was captivated by the sensation of floating. Over the weeks she gained more confidence to start moving in the water and her little face was so happy.

Her time in the water gave her real freedom, which a newborn baby does not have out of water. The staff at the Baby Spa are very professional and the interest in the babies and their development really added to the experience.

I cannot recommend the Baby Spa highly enough.

Jess MooreObstetrician

You manage to create a haven of peace – not only for babies, but also for me as a mother – with the music and the atmosphere at the Spa.

Heike and Daniel

As a mother of three young children and a professional in the medical field I had the amazing opportunity to watch and experience the Baby Spa Floating Treatment for my two younger sons. Theodor, now 4 years old, was just about nine days old when he started with the treatment twice a week until he graduated to baby swimming classes around 5 months of age, Matthias, now 2 years old was 14 days old.

For most mothers the first few weeks and months are an exciting but also often difficult and tiring time, getting to know a new baby, establishing a secure attachment, finding managing their needs. Babies might present with prolonged jaundice, might be colicky, might be difficult feeders, might struggle with sleeping. It takes some time for both mother and baby to adjust and getting used to each other and one can find it not so easy to read the babies mind and response to certain ways of handling in the early weeks.

The most amazing experience for me during the Spa treatment was for me to watch the intense pleasure, contentment and curiosity the babies of a few days or weeks old showed as soon as they were floating in the warm water. Within a couple of sessions they figured out they could deliberately choose in which direction to float by moving their legs and arms in a certain way.

They could experience an intense pleasure known from floating in their mother’s tummy and yet new. They often stopped crying immediately watched and felt intensely what was happening. From my own experience the floating had also great physical benefits, lessening of jaundice through movement and influence on metabolism, easing of colic, regulating sleeping habits.

The brain develops with the experience of sensory information. Most young babies spend a great deal of their time wrapped in blankets or in car seats. Floating offers a unique and beautiful way of moving at a very early stage, which must have a positive influence on their brain development, if not more for handicapped babies.

Laura with all her knowledge and care truly created a very special atmosphere of calmness, of curiosity, balancing the needs of the babies and the mothers. Seeing her massaging the babies after the floating was another wonderful experience in seeing how a bond developed, how deep the experience was for the babies and how reassuring for the mothers.

As a child and adolescent psychiatrist and play therapist I clearly see the benefits of such a structured and yet natural sensory experience facilitating for the baby a gentler transgression from the womb into the outer world, gaining a wonderful new quality for bonding and attachment and negotiating the fulfillment of needs.

To create a safe room and a space to watch and wonder, to think and to contemplate a wonderful sensory experience for the baby which is done almost independently at a very young age is truly remarkable. I am convinced it might even be beneficial for mothers with postpartum depression when the quality of bonding with the baby is difficult and painful.

Dr Fiona Scheder-BieschinFC Psych (SA)

Hydrotherapy is increasingly gaining popularity for stoke and burns survivors worldwide. Applications in the field of Neonatology have yet to be defined and studied.

Hydrotherapy as an adjunct to conventional therapy holds great potential on the premise that it stimulates additional senses such as temperature, proprioception and touch in a developing brain (brain plasticity).

Based on a limited number of anecdotal cases, patients receiving hydrotherapy at the Sevenus institute have exceeded predicted function based on neuroimaging on discharge from the neonatal ICU.

Dr Ricky DippenaarNeonatologist

I think that this is valuable and advantageous stimulation for babies. The fact that it is personalised is an added bonus.

Michelle VerweyGraphic Designer

It's a fantastic concept. I feel privileged to have my son take part in it - Liam really loves it.

Laura MarkowitzConsultant

Dru was born in water and half a day later was back in the warm serene environment he was used to for so many months. Ht was immediately calmed and relaxed in the Baby Spa.

Christina Guberman

Your Baby Spa was a real sanctuary for me in the early days with Leila.

Jenny Sandler

I have had the privilege and pleasure of being involved in two ways in the aquatherapy developed by Laura Sevenus; firstly as a mother who has seen my two daughters benefit greatly from the brilliant use of water as a medium for exercise, strengthening and development, and secondly as a medical practitioner facilitating sessions for babies, from newly born to six months of age.

Laura's form of flotation allows babies to explore body movements in multiple planes. Such exploration is not possible for young babies without the weightlessness they experience in water, since they simply aren't strong enough to move against gravity. The resistance their muscles experience while moving the body through water also provides excellent exercise.

The flotation and movement sessions anecdotally appear to greatly improve the strength and co-ordination of the babies. It also, according to all parents of babies partaking, really seems to improve sleep and decrease abdominal discomfort and colicky type symptoms.

In conjunction with a paediatrician and a physiotherapist I have also been involved in the treatment of babies suffering intrauterine and birth trauma. The babies treated with water-based therapy, again anecdotally, according to all involved, improved faster and to a greater degree than expected.

I am very excited about the effects of this method on my own children and the other babies I observed. I hope as many parents, teachers and medical people as possible will discover this wonderful method for treatment and development. I have no reservation endorsing the methods developed and used by Laura Sevenus and her team.

Dr Alexia van der VeldeMBChB (UCT)

The most amazing experience for me during the Spa treatment was for me to watch the intense pleasure, contentment and curiosity the babies of a few days or weeks old showed as soon as they were floating in the warm water.

Dr Fiona Scheder

Within a couple of sessions they figured out they could deliberately choose in which direction to float by moving their legs and arms in a certain way. They could experience an intense pleasure known from floating in their mother's tummy and yet new.

Dr Fiona Scheder

They often stopped crying immediately, watched, and felt intensely what was happening. From my own experience the floating had also great physical benefits, lessening of jaundice through movement and influence on metabolism, easing of colic, regulating sleeping habits.

Dr Fiona Scheder

The brain develops with the experience of sensory information. Most young babies spend a great deal of their time wrapped in blankets or in car seats. Floating offers a unique and beautiful way of moving at a very early stage which must have a positive influence on their brain development.

Dr Fiona Scheder

As a child and adolescent psychiatrist and play therapist I clearly see the benefits of such a structured and yet natural sensory experience facilitating for the baby a gentler transgression from the womb into the outer world, gaining a wonderful new quality for bonding and attachment and negotiating the fulfillment of needs.

Dr Fiona Scheder

I am convinced it might even be beneficial for mothers with postpartum depression when the quality of bonding with the baby is difficult and painful.

Dr Fiona Scheder

1. My impression of your Baby Spa is that it breaks new ground in the way in which infants and their parents are offered a positive, warm experience that is likely to be a far-reaching one in terms of a child’s emotional and social development.

2. In your skilled, experienced hands infants and their parents are able to enjoy the first ‘steps’ towards a child’s physical and emotional independence. Water, being familiar to the infant in utero, seems an extremely suitable medium in which to facilitate these first ‘steps’, since it provides the security of its associations with the womb, yet more freedom of movement than the womb allows.

3. The fact that infants are able to initiate and sustain their own movements in the water must surely intensify awareness of their bodies and minds as ‘agents’ of movement, i.e. ’I can go forward by moving my legs this way or that’. It follows that early experiences of this kind may be the forerunners of enduring characteristics such as self- awareness and self- confidence.

4. It seems that the water activity may allow infants not only to move more freely, but to feel more ‘’empowered’’ as social beings. In this regard I was interested in a parent’s comment that her ‘silent’ infant had started to make noises for the first time during one of the sessions. It makes sense that in the expansion of an infant’s social world, the thought that “I can do it’’ might be followed by “ I am worthy of respect’’ and ultimately “ I have a voice and something to say”.

5. Since the activity offers a new and pleasurable way for infants and their parents to interact, it is potentially a source of strengthening parent-child bonds. It may even serve as a healing experience when there have been negative experiences or trauma associated with the birth process and/or postnatal period.

6. Apropos point (5), the associations of the Spa experience with pleasurable activity in a supportive setting are likely to be extremely therapeutic. The pleasures of moving in the water and the enjoyable toning massage are only parts of the whole experience. In addition, there are the cues given to infants by their parents that their responses have received reflective, individual attention and often smiles of approval. These cues are helpful in affirming the ‘’infant’s wholeness’’ as active participants in a social event. Given the usual state of dependency and physical constraints of infancy, the active participation offered in the Spa opens a new vista of pleasurable experiences in which the infants are able to express their individuality and explore their own potential.

7. In the session that I observed, it was obvious that parents found the Spa experience supportive and that they were making new discoveries about their infants as a result of their activity and responses. I suspect that these discoveries open up new ways for parents to relate to their infants.

8. It was striking that the two fathers who attended the Spa session were very active in relating to their infants and their experiences. Since fathers often find it difficult to have as much involvement with their very young infants as they would like, it is sometimes necessary to provide them with appropriate opportunities. In this regard, the Spa certainly seemed an ideal way of involving fathers in pleasurable interaction with their infants.

9. In evaluating the potential benefits of the Baby Spa, I could not ignore the obvious fact that as presently operated, it offers an ongoing developmental experience into group activity/swimming etc., should parents choose to continue the process with their children. I see this process as potentially enormously beneficial, since it provides a long-term secure experience of developmental progress in trusted, skilled and sensitive hands---and, moreover, in familiar surroundings (a real ‘home from home’).

10. Lastly, I would like to emphasize my impression that the Baby Spa offers a lot more than its conception as promoting the physical health of infants. In this regard, I feel that the ‘whole’ experience needs to be taken into account, particularly the quality of the experience for parents and their children. In your hands the experience is likely to be extremely socially and emotionally beneficial to a child’s development, particularly if continued as a group experience (swimming) in the long term.

Dr Joan WestawayMB. CHB, F.C.P. (Paediatrics), F.F.Psych. M.Med, M.Phil

You manage to create a haven of peace - not only for babies, but also for me as a mother - with the music and atmosphere at the Spa.

Heike and Daniel

My little boy smiled for the very first time.

Siobhan Thomas

Thank you so much for giving us this wonderful opportunity of having Arna experience something so new and yet so innate and instinctive to all babies!

Arna is a very happy  baby but even at the young age of 3 months she is initially sceptical of new situations. Hence I was completely taken by surprise at her instantaneous feeling of being absolutely comfortable and at ease in the water right from the second she was dipped in!

The hydrotherapy at your babyspa Is one of our favourite activities. Cannot wait to bring her next week!

Shipra AgrawalPsychologist

Dru was immediately calmed and relaxed in the Baby Spa and would bounce up and down with glee at times. What a lovely welcome to the world!

Christina

The movement and pressure of the water soothed his sore tummy… the massage afterwards calmed and comforted him…he started sleeping better during the day as well as the night.

Karen

I went from nurse to doctor to chiropractor yet nothing seemed to help calm my fretful little baby…then a friend told me about Baby Spa.

Karen

The Baby Spa was like a ray of light to me… having a little baby suffer from colic, the constant sleepless nights and crying left my nerves in shreds.

Karen

The swim and massage were so good for Leila, and I know that she will carry that experience somewhere in her memory always.

Jenny Sandler

I also got to meet mums who were in the same position as me. Laura, your Baby Spa is truly a blessing!

Karen

Laura and her assistant were both incredibly nice and calm and my daughter enjoyed being spoiled with her post-swim massage.

Mia Brnicevic

Laura and her assistant were both incredibly nice and calm and my daughter enjoyed being spoiled with her post-swim massage.

Mia Brnicevic

Dru was born in water and half a day later was back in the warm, serene environment he was used to for so many months.

Christina