The Effect of Massage with Oils on the Growth of Term Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial


Background and Aims: Infant massage could potentially benefit both physiological and psychological health. This study aims to determine the effect of massage with oils on the growth of full-term infants, which is given by their mothers. Study Design: This is a double-blind randomized controlled trial which was conducted on full term infants visited in the nine Public Health Centers of Shahrekord, Iran in 2010. Material and Methods: This study included 217 infants. Inclusion criteria for the infants were age scale between 10 to 15 days, full term gestation, birth weight of 2500 grams at least, Apgar score of 7 or above, no resuscitation after the birth, exclusive breastfeeding during the study, medically stable condition without any need for drugs, nulliparous. The infants were randomized into four groups: massage with sunflower oil, massage with sesame oil, massage without oil, and no massage (control group). Massage was given by mothers twice a day for 4 weeks, starting from the 10 - 15th day of life. Weight and height were measured weekly. At last, Repeated Measures Analysis of Covariance was employed to analyze the data. Birth weight (height) as well as mean frequency of breastfeeding during the study was deemed as covariates. Results: The findings showed that the mean of weight and height was significantly different between groups over time, respectively (P = 0.005, P < 0.001). The infants’ mean weight in sunflower oil massage group increased significantly compared with other three groups (P = 0.005). In addition, infants’ height gain in sunflower and sesame oil massage group were significantly higher than message-only and control groups (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Massage with oil, especially sunflower oil is an inexpensive, simple, and effective intervention which improved weight and height gain in selected samples. Further studies are needed to evaluate the serious adverse effects, if any, to notify midwives and health care staff.

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Mirmohammadali, M. , Hosseini-Baharanchi, F. , Dehkordi, Z. , Bekhradi, R. and Delaram, M. (2015) The Effect of Massage with Oils on the Growth of Term Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 5, 223-231. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2015.53034.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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