The Effects of Infant Massage on Maternal Distress: A Systematic Review


Massage therapy is one of the oldest touch therapies, and it has been used for many conditions. We have systematically reviewed articles on infant massage to evaluate its effects on maternal distress, and also on mother-infant relationship. Infant massage has been known to benefit mothers and infants regarding several health variables such as depression, parenting stress, weight gain for the infant, hormones and anxiety as well as functionality of the immunity system. However, tactile-only stimulation must be distinguished from multisensory interventions that include a tactile component, for tactile-only stimulation without social contact is associated with higher levels of stress, and it is also overstimulating for infants. The significance of this systematic review lies in the important role of massage therapy in human health, as it highlights a crucial yet often underestimated effect in psychological and biosomatical variables.

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Galanakis, M. , Ntaouti, E. , Tsitsanis, G. and Chrousos, G. (2015) The Effects of Infant Massage on Maternal Distress: A Systematic Review. Psychology, 6, 2091-2097. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.616204.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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