A 501c3 Non-Profit Corporation

A 501c3 Non-Profit Corporation

A 501c3 Non-Profit CorporationA 501c3 Non-Profit CorporationA 501c3 Non-Profit Corporation
Bonding and Attachment Matters!

Our Mission

Our mission is to educate and support parents and professionals in raising secure, joyful, empathetic children through touch therapies, education, training, and evidenced-based research, to strengthen families and to create a more compassionate world.



Our Vision: 

Through education and training of evidenced-based research, The Early Bonding Foundation will deliver techniques to decrease the potential for abuse and violence in society, to promote optimal growth, development, and bonding for all families including those with special needs (i.e. families from the NICU) and to promote improved birth outcomes and learning by training and Certifying Pediatric Massage Instructors and Early Bonding Specialists (CPMEB) and Certified Perinatal Massage Therapists.

The EBF educates and supports parents by giving them the tactile and communicative tools to create strong, healthy emotional bonds between them and their children which last a lifetime.  A new family tradition is then followed, as the adult child passes this love on, in a life cycle of compassion and connection, creating a more peaceful world.

Core Values

  • Teach respect, and appropriate touch
  • Teach ways to increase the function of the child's brain.
  • Teach ways to provide continuous support for families during labor to enhance early bonding and attachment outcomes.
  • Teach the necessary tools to empower families, while they learn to calm, connect and communicate with their child.
  • ​Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of all kinds of Abuse.

Purpose: "The organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code."We address the medically fragile newborn’s critical tactile needs by working directly with their families and healthcare providers in hospital neonatal intensive care units, adoption and foster care agencies, and early intervention specialists to provide education, training to staff, program development, consulting and support for families. 

About Us

AFMTE 2019's Educator of the Year Award

Our Founder and Infant Massage Expert-Tammy

Our Founder and Infant Massage Expert-Tammy

Our Founder and Infant Massage Expert-Tammy

          Tammy Roecker, CETMB, BCTMB, is a Certified Educator in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and was the recipient of AFMTE's 2019 Educator of the Year award. Tammy has been a self-employed, Arizona State Licensed Massage Therapist, Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and active member of the American Massage Therapy Association for 26 years with additional certifications in Pre/Peri-Natal Massage, as well as being a Certified Personal Trainer with extra training in Perinatal Fitness.  Tammy is a Certified Infant and Pediatric Massage Therapist, Instructor, and Instructor Trainer.

          Tammy also provides services as a Certified Birth Doula, and Childbirth Educator. She has attended and supported over a hundred women and their partners through labor and birth and prepared them prior with natural childbirth classes.

          Tammy Founded the Early Bonding Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 Corporation, to promote bonding and building secure attachments.  She also founded, TR Seminars, as a provider of continuing education for Licensed Massage Therapists, RNs, OTs, PTs, LCSWs, and other Healthcare Professionals. She has been providing continuing education since 2011 and currently has 52 CE classes with a wide variety of subjects from pediatrics to geriatrics.  


Our Hospital NICU Experts- Penny and Beth

Our Founder and Infant Massage Expert-Tammy

Our Founder and Infant Massage Expert-Tammy

Penny Goldman is a Senior Trainer for the Early Bonding Foundation.  She has been an Occupational Therapist since 1994 and specializes in the treatment of Pediatric and Neonatal patients.  She works in a large pediatric hospital in Hollywood, Florida. Besides being an Infant Massage and Early Bonding Instructor and Trainer, she is a Certified Lactation Counselor and is Neurodevelopmental Treatment Certified as well. Penny has worked with numerous families within and out of the NICU setting and has had the unique experience and honor of being a mother to premature twins who had an extended stay in the NICU. Penny’s passion is to promote optimal growth and development for the premature population. 

Beth Fletcher has been working in the healthcare field for over 35 years. She graduated with her BSN and immediately started working with premature infants in the NICU. She is still working at the bedside as a transition nurse in labor and delivery. 

In 1993, Mrs. Fletcher graduated with her massage license. Since then, she has stayed true to her heart to bring integrative medicine to mainstream healthcare. After obtaining her Master’s degree in Organizational Development with a specialty in Healthcare Organization, Beth has been integral in brining integrative therapies to the Joe DiMaggio Childrens Hospital in Hollywood, Fl.

Mrs. Fletcher has been involved with education since the start of her career. She has been teaching classes in CPR, NRP, Infant massage, patient and family care, infant massage instructor certification, as well as courses at a massage school. Mrs. Fletcher has been a guest lecturer at several Neonatal and Patient and Family Centered Care Symposiums.


Our Behavioral Health Expert-Susan

Our Founder and Infant Massage Expert-Tammy

Our Behavioral Health Expert-Susan

Susan Highsmith, Ph.D. is an educator and counselor residing in Tucson, Arizona.  She received her doctorate in Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology from Santa Barbara Graduate Institute (SBGI).  She instructs masters and doctoral candidates, lectures at universities, community colleges, and charter schools, and speaks at international congresses addressing consciousness in the womb and the long-lasting effects of our earliest experiences. Susan is a National Board Certified Counselor (NBCC). She holds a Doctorate of Divinity from the American Institute of Holistic Theology and seeks to balance psychological theory and practice with spiritual and holistic wisdom.

Community Events


Many groups can benefit from our classes and in-service events.  Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • NICU/Medically Fragile
  • Substance Abuse
  • Autism
  • AD/HD
  • Down's Syndrome
  • Teen Parents
  • Adoption/Foster Care
  • Brain Development
  • Attachment Parenting
  • Womb Life
  • Pre-Conception Bonding
  • Prenatal Bonding
  • Labor Preparation
  • Labor Support
  • Postpartum Support
  • Crying/Colic
  • Sleep Deprivation 
  • Detachment and Self-Care
  • Coping, grief, loss

We have provided seminars to:

  • Teen Outreach Groups
  • Parents at Adoption and Foster Care Agencies 
  • Parents in the NICU
  • Down's Syndrome Groups
  • Day Care Centers
  • Elementary Schools
  • Adult Children at Alzheimer Nursing Homes and People with Parkinson's groups
  • Hospital NICU
  • PT, OT, LCSW, RN, and LMT groups 

Help Our Cause

Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.  The Early Bonding Foundation, Inc.  relies on the support of individuals, corporations and foundations to fund our initiatives, children’s services and education programs, and research. We are extremely grateful to our generous donors and sponsors.  By making a contribution you can help provide resources to fund children’s services, public and professional education.

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

Professional Development


 Continuing Education

Our Courses are Board Certified and and cover an extensive curriculum designed and delivered by Trainers certified by The Early Bonding Foundation, and are worth continuing education contact hours for most professionals.  Our approved providers deliver a blend of theory, current evidenced-based research and practical and experimental learning that allow for academic study, practical application and self-discovery. All classes include a variety of learning methods including a full PowerPoint lecture and other visual aids, along with hands on demonstration and hands on practice.  Real, live babies, and real live mothers volunteer and participate in our classes so students can see the early bonding methods take place, right in front of their eyes, as the interaction is performed.  ​We provide supportive learning and testing environment in the classroom, as well as, the support and mentoring after class concludes.​  See a list of course descriptions below.

Need CE Now? We teach private CE classes on mutually convenient days, and try to build workshops around you, if booked in advance. 

Interested in Hosting a Workshop? We will travel to you! 

Employers: We are available to teach large or small groups at your hospital, office, massage business, or other location to get your employees up to speed with their educational needs.

Therapists and Professionals: Need CE but don't want to travel?  Co-host a workshop and earn a free CE!  Do you have, or know of, space that we could use?  We will travel to you. Recruit at least 5 other attendees that register for the event and your seat is free! 

Your tuition is considered a donation, and the money goes towards programs for the community, and is tax deductible.

The Early Bonding Foundation is an approved provider by the CA-BRN California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #16373

The NCBTMB-National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork #451668-11

Upcoming Events!

Live Workshops and Webinars

  • AUG 24-27 Perinatal Certification 
  • SEP 19-21 Certification in Pediatric Massage and Early Bonding
  • SEP 23 Pelvic Floor Function/Dysfunction 
  • OCT 13-15 Geriatric Massage-Robust and Frail 

Course Descriptions

CIMEB-Certification in Infant Massage and Early Bonding

CIMEB-Certification in Infant Massage and Early Bonding

CIMEB-Certification in Infant Massage and Early Bonding


Infant Massage Instructor Training-Worth 24 CE Hours

This course is for CHW's, RN's, OTs, PTs, SLPs, and LMTs that wish to help parents of newborns, medically fragile babies in the NICU and their transition from hospital to home.

After this workshop attendees will be able to:

  • Explain specific contraindications and medical concerns of the premature or ill newborn.
  • List the benefits of touch/infant massage and early bonding.
  • Validate their work by explaining evidenced-based research.
  • Help NICU parents with observing, communicating, and bonding with their infants through nurturing touch.  
  • Work with other hospital staff, parents of the NICU, NICU protocol, and specific adaptations for babies born early, or with medical conditions. 
  • Identify the different behavioral states and Cues.
  • Apply transitions for special needs, Down’s syndrome, hearing and visual impairments.
  • Help parents transition home and teach them additional infant massage techniques.

Certification in Pediatric Massage and Early Bonding

CIMEB-Certification in Infant Massage and Early Bonding

CIMEB-Certification in Infant Massage and Early Bonding


CPMEB-Certificate in Pediatric Massage and Early Bonding-worth 24CE 

This comprehensive 3 day workshop will teach you the necessary tools to empower families, while they learn to calm, connect and communicate with their child.  Students will be able to help parents with issues like colic, constipation, teething, chest congestion and asthma.  Our classes promote respect, prevent child and substance abuse, and provide parents with skills to read their child’s non-verbal cues and respond effectively, while they help their child learn through play, appropriate loving touch, and compassionate communication!

• Infant Massage,  Toddler and Teen Massage

• Early Bonding Techniques/Connection Exercises

• Well Babies/Medically Fragile Babies

• Premature Babies, NAS, SEN, Special Needs, Adoption/Foster Care

• Evidenced-Based Research

Infant and Pediatric Behavioral Health Seminars

CIMEB-Certification in Infant Massage and Early Bonding

Infant and Pediatric Behavioral Health Seminars


  • Medical massage for Anxiety/Depression-4CE 
  • Medical massage for Sensory Processing Disorders SPD-4CE  
  • Pediatric Massage for Challenging Behaviors-16CE 
  • Medical massage for Attention Deficit and Hyper Activity Disorders ADHD-4CE  
  • Medical massage for Autism Spectrum Disorders ASD-4CE
  • Drug Affected Children-Substance Exposed Newborns (SEN) Including: Opioids, meth, cocaine, marijuana, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Spectrums FAS, premature babies, and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome NAS-8CE  


NICU/Medically Fragile-Pediatric

Infant and Pediatric Behavioral Health Seminars


 32 Advanced Perinatal Massage Therapist 

This advanced four day workshop will teach you the tools to work with women during pregnancy, labor and postpartum.  Students will learn a set of techniques and standards to be used during pregnancy, labor and postpartum that explores the physiological, structural and emotional well-being of both the mother and her child.  

Students will be able to understand and recognize contraindications, possible complications, and risk factors of pregnancy, comfort techniques for labor, and restoring musculature and postural integrity postpartum.  You will learn positioning, draping, basic and advanced techniques for pregnancy and postpartum, and both comfort techniques and emotional support to be used during labor.

 Early bonding in the womb is explained, as well as, events that can change the bonding during labor, the immediate hours after birth and attachment issues postpartum.  Students will enjoy lots of hands-on practice with pregnant mother volunteers, a mock labor among peers, and postpartum restoration.


NICU/Medically Fragile-Pediatric

NICU/Medically Fragile-Pediatric


 Advanced Geriatric Massage Workshop-24CE


 • This workshop covers physical and mental pathologies of aging, (such as, skin changes, foot care, edema, heart and lung issues, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, digestive conditions, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia, and many more) as well as, the social-emotional challenges the aging community face during the later changes of lifestyle, home and companionship.  

• Students will learn contraindications, and all the safety measures to have a safe office environment.  Students will learn the proper forms for health and medical history, working with other healthcare providers, and tips for proper documentation.

• Students will learn many techniques for both in their massage office setting, but also, learn how to do massage techniques in a variety of positions and locations (client’s homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, hospice care, in wheelchairs, and on beds, for those seniors unable to make it into a massage office, or cannot transfer onto a massage table.

• Students will learn proper body mechanics, to avoid injury massaging in different positions.  Students will learn to recognize the signs of caregiver burnout, and the stages of grief and dying.  Student will learn coping skills, and stress reeducation techniques, which include touch, massage, breathing and relaxation.

• Students will learn active listening skills and ethics of geriatric care, and the need for compassionate communication and comforting touch throughout a lifetime.

NICU/Medically Fragile-Pediatric

NICU/Medically Fragile-Pediatric

NICU/Medically Fragile-Pediatric


 This workshop is appropriate for staff currently working, or who wish to work, in the Neonatal Instensive Care Unit.  After this workshop attendees will be able to:

  • Identify common risk factors and complications from premature births.
  • Identify common risk factors in Substance Exposed Newborns (SEN), Drug Addicted (DA) babies, and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
  • Students will be able to list the medical contraindications, safety measures and guidelines of infant massage.
  • Demonstrate proper infant positioning techniques to prevent complications based on medical needs.
  • Students will be able to explain brain development in the womb through the first few years and how touch/infant massage plays a role.
  • Students will be able recite the history, benefits, and current evidenced-based research of infant massage.
  • Students will be able to list applicable infant behavioral states and cues.
  • Students will be able to perform infant massage strokes, stretches, exercises, and bonding techniques.
  • Students will be able to apply adaptations and transitions for medically fragile infants.
  • Students will be able to teach parents and caregivers how to safely massage their babies.
  • Students will be able to understand how pregnancy, labor and the immediate hours following birth affect bonding and attachment, and how infant massage can be a necessary tool.
  • Explain benefits from Kangaroo Care and benefits to family and infant.
  • Utilize a holistic family centered approach to evaluation, goal writing and intervention methods to overcome environmental challenges.
  • Identify intervention strategies for sensory and motor-based complications from a prolonged NICU hospitalization.


Hosting Workshops


Hosting is an innovative way to differentiate your facility and get your trainers the education they need, along with valuable CE (Approved Continuing Education-Contact Hours) and the most comprehensive  programs available.

Train your staff on-site in convenient weekday or weekend, three day work shops.

Group discounts are available.  

We work with Purchase Orders and Government programs when available.

Remember, we are a 501(c)3 Corporation, allowing for tax deductions! 


Arizona Department of Health Services, PHPREV - Public Health Prevention

Donated $3040.00; Which helped to train Native Health-Phoenix, AZ Community Health Workers, Nurse Home Visitors, and staff of the Health Start/FASD Prevention, Bureau of Women’s and Children’s Health, working with Apache Tribes.

The Early Bonding Foundation’s program was so successful, Native Health decided to commission another course to benefit their staff, parents and families with an additional grant from the AZDHS of $3800.00.

AZDHS donated $4180.00 to hold another Train the Trainer workshop in Tucson, AZ for the Community Health Workers serving the Pima Tribe’s parents and families.

Designs For Learning, Prevention; Early Intervening Services (EIS) and Response to Intervention (RTI) Donated $8550.00; Which enabled Navajo Tribe’s neonatal nurses and other health employees of the Indian Health Services in Chinle, AZ to learn infant and pediatric massage and early bonding techniques to teach parents.  This was a collaborative effort commissioned by IHS Chinle Service Unit’s Meth and Suicide Prevention Initiative, public health nurses, obstetric nursing staff, and Health Promotion’s counseling staff.


Get Involved

 We are currently reorganizing, and need volunteers with effective leadership in the following areas:

  • Management
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Administrative
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Fundraising Committee
  • Outreach Committee
  • Grant Coordinator
  • Education Committee

Eventually, we hope to have some paid positions, as we grow. 

Prevention and Promotion


Prevent Physical and Verbal Abuse:  All babies’ cry, and use other forms non-verbal cues, to communicate their needs.  This can be very upsetting and frustrating for new parents.  We educate caregivers/parents about the reasons babies cry, the skills to understand the different meanings, and how to respond effectively.  Then, parents feel more confident in their ability to read baby’s cues, as they have the ability to soothe and meet baby’s needs.  Parents develop healthy self-esteem as baby responds, validating their skills and role as parents and increases the parent’s confidence to follow their intuitive sense.  In addition, the infant massage we teach also has reciprocal benefits to the parents giving the infant massage. The release of hormones in the mother wards off postpartum depression and provides a feeling to nurture the baby. Also, hormone reaction in the father makes him want to nurture his baby verses competing with him/her.  Studies show that when children are shown love, and feel they are loved and respected, they grow to be loving, respectful, and secure adults, which in turn can create a healthier more compassionate society.

Prevent Sexual Abuse: When teaching infant massage we always teach the caregiver or parent to ask permission first, and watch for the child’s non-verbal engagement cues, and not to proceed, but try later, if the child seems disengaged.  This is a great way to teach respect, and appropriate touch.  For if this child’s parents, the ones who love them most, ALWAYS ask first before touching, and are touching them with love and compassion….that child will then know instinctively, that when anyone else wants to touch them, they must always ask permission first, and what type of touch is appropriate.  Prevent School Shootings: Educating parents on how to create secure attachment bonds, and how to interact with their children and teaching them about the child’s need to play for proper brain development will prevent mental impairments in adulthood.  As, Stuart Brown said, “If you’re safe and well-fed, you play!” Who did research and got involved in study after the Charles Whitman case-Texas Tower Sniper.  His research showed absence of play in childhood was one of the key factors involved in this case and similar others, including convicted murderers and drunk drivers.  Playing in an unorganized fashion, unsupervised, helps kids figure out ability to work in unison, live under authority, and socialize in groups. (ie.Tag, chase-shift between power- chaser/chasee)Improve School Learning:  Learning infant massage and compassionate communication can increase the function of the child’s brain.  This has been proven in many evidenced-based research studies, like this one, a rat study by Dr. John D. Benjamin, from Colorado Medical School. He experimented with two groups of rats: one group supplied with same living conditions and food as the second group. The second group were caressed and cuddled by the investigator, while the 1st group was treated coldly.  The petted rats learned faster and grew faster!

Promote Optimal Growth, Development, and Bonding for the NICU Setting: Education about planning for conception, eating right and what is happening with babies in the womb will help prevent them from the need to go there in the first place.  Teaching caregivers and parents infant massage will help those babies thrive and grow faster, according to Tiffany Field’s research.


1986 Infant Massage Study:

•    9 week old Premature Newborns, weighed 2lbs each

•    Given massage 45 min./day, divided into three 15 minute periods, for 10 days

•    Main focus of massage was for weight gain

The Results:

•    Babies gained 47% more weight than the un-massaged babies even though they were fed the same formula. 

•    They were awake and active more of the time.

•    They were more alert and responsive to examiner’s face and voice

•    They scored higher on the Brazelton Scale

•    They were discharged from the hospital 6 days sooner

•    Savings of hospital costs were $3000, which today would be over $10,000, and would translate into about 4.7 billion/yr.

•    In a related study, besides the weight gain, it relieved postpartum depression for mother’s giving the massage.  

Better Birth Outcomes: We train Massage Doulas to provide continuous support for families during labor to enhance early bonding and attachment outcomes.  Numerous studies have documented the benefits of having a doula present during labor. A recent Cochrane Review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, showed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. With the support of a doula, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered, less likely to have a cesarean birth, and reported having a more positive childbirth experience. Other studies have shown that having a doula as a member of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40% and requests for an epidural by 60%.  Doulas often use the power of touch and massage to reduce stress and anxiety during labor. According to physicians Marshal Klaus and John Kennell, massage helps stimulate the production of natural oxytocin. The pituitary gland secretes natural oxytocin to the bloodstream, causing uterine contractions, and to the brain, resulting in a feeling of well-being, drowsiness and higher pain threshold. By contrast, because synthetic IV oxytocin cannot cross into both the blood stream and the brain, it increases contractions without the positive psychological benefits of natural oxytocin. 



“The Certification in Pediatric Massage and Early Bonding Workshop is the most comprehensive pre/perinatal course I have ever taken. The course covers physical, mental, and emotional aspects of childbearing, childrearing, and helping parents/caregivers honor the points of view of babies, parents, and childcare providers and professionals. I LOVED THIS COURSE! A+” 

–Susan Highsmith, PhD . Pre and Perinatal Psychologist, Author of The Renaissance of Birth

“The research information and resources are amazing! What a plethora of information-knowledge base was incredible! Loved this cass, especially the hands-on and interaction with REAL families!”

-Tamara Talbot, RN, BSN, Early Intervention Specialist

“I believe I found my new topic for my doctorate studies. I believe this type of healing, interactive bonding is very essential for prevention of many types of health concerns and issues!”

-Wilpita Honie, Masters in Public Health (MPH), Certified Breastfeeding Counselor, Parent Educator.

“I loved the class! It makes me want to know even more. I found it valuable and it widened my perspective immensely!!”

-Anonymous RN, Chinle Hospital Obstetric Care Unit 

“Excellent information about the benefits of touch and massage for early bonding. Instructor is definitely an expert on the subject! Clever and fun games, I really liked your style! Enjoyed the hands-on activities. I know this will be a great tool for working with my families!”

-Jessica Dalton, RN, Community Health Worker

Say Hi!

Stay in the loop!

Want to know more about upcoming events? Want to make sure we have your most-recent email address? Want to just share your thoughts? Send a message! Family is important, and everyone's individual voice should be, too!


The Early Bonding Foundation

4231 W Yorkshire Dr., Glendale, Arizona 85308, United States


Contact Us!


Our Blog