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Participating in Baby Massage Lessens Postpartum Depression Symptoms

A new study reveals mothers who took part in baby massage classes reported less postpartum depression symptoms. Learn more about the latest research here.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated January 4, 2024
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Image: Anna Nass | Shutterstock

Researchers have uncovered the potential wonders of baby massage in alleviating symptoms of postpartum depression. This heartwarming exploration sheds light on the positive impact of infant massage on maternal mental health, offering a simple yet effective intervention that parents may find comforting.

The study, conducted through a systematic review, brings forth insights into the effects of infant massage on postnatal depression symptoms. Mothers grappling with postpartum depression often find it challenging to connect with their infants, leading to potential challenges for both mother and baby. Baby massage can help bridge that connection gap.

Baby massage classes, led by caring and trained instructors over several weeks, offer structured support for the mother-infant duo. Focused on meaningful interaction and social support, these classes bring a ray of positivity to the postnatal journey.

Throughout the review researchers discovered an notable improvement in mother-infant interactions and a reduction in parent-child dysfunction among women attending infant massage classes. Moreover, the study emphasizes the importance of both formal and informal support in positively influencing a woman’s mental health. Peer-support in infant massage classes, coupled with knowledgeable instructors, proves invaluable in enhancing feelings of attachment and closeness between mother and baby.

Despite these heartening findings, the integration of infant massage interventions into healthcare policy remains limited. The study invites us to consider the potential cost-effectiveness of Public Health Nurse-led infant massage classes in providing the warmth of social and professional support, contributing to a reduction in postpartum depression symptoms.

While some regions have already embraced such initiatives, the broader integration of mental health and community healthcare services faces challenges. Barriers such as reduced staffing levels, inadequate resources, and professional attitudes are roadblocks that the study urges us to overcome, envisioning a landscape where every child has the best start in life.

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