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The practice of infant massage has been reported to give relaxation and enjoyment to mothers and babies. This qualitative study aimed to explore mothers’ experience with learning and doing infant massage. Mothers whose babies four to six weeks old were taught the adapted baby massage program over four sessions by a certified infant massage instructor in the selected health centers. They were asked to do infant massage for 15 minutes twice a day. As part of a main study, nine of the mothers were recruited as study participants at the end of the teaching sessions using a purposive sampling procedure. In-depth interviews were conducted to explore their experience with learning and doing baby massage. Mothers’ experience with baby’s relaxation and sleep, baby-mother bonding, new learnings in term of a helpful baby-care skill, responding to baby cues, establishing new care routine, gaining spousal and other mothers’ supports apparently contributed to their positive experience of learning and doing massage with their babies. Findings supplement the evidence base which could influence service provision to include infant massage as part of the maternal and childcare service. © 2018, Malaysian Society of Applied Biology. All rights reserved.
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* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Malays. Appl. Biol. (2018) 47(1): 189–194
EXPERIENCE OF MOTHERS’ LEARNING AND
DOING INFANT MASSAGE
KIM GEOK CHAN1*, SALOMA PAWI1, SHALIN LEE1, EMILY HII2, CHOR YAU OOI2,
ZURRAINI ARABI2 and HELMY HAZMI3
1Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
2Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
3Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
*E-mail: kgchan@unimas.my
Accepted 21 January 2018, Published online 31 March 2018
ABSTRACT
The practice of infant massage has been reported to give relaxation and enjoyment to mothers and babies. This qualitative
study aimed to explore mothers’ experience with learning and doing infant massage. Mothers whose babies four to six
weeks old were taught the adapted baby massage program over four sessions by a certified infant massage instructor in the
selected health centers. They were asked to do infant massage for 15 minutes twice a day. As part of a main study, nine of
the mothers were recruited as study participants at the end of the teaching sessions using a purposive sampling procedure.
In-depth interviews were conducted to explore their experience with learning and doing baby massage. Mothers’ experience
with baby’s relaxation and sleep, baby-mother bonding, new learnings in term of a helpful baby-care skill, responding to
baby cues, establishing new care routine, gaining spousal and other mothers’ supports apparently contributed to their positive
experience of learning and doing massage with their babies. Findings supplement the evidence base which could influence
service provision to include infant massage as part of the maternal and childcare service.
Key words: Experience, infant massage, mothers, qualitative study
INTRODUCTION
Mothering a baby is a happy event for most people.
However, it could be challenging for many,
especially for the first-time mothers. Baby massage
could play a significant role for the well-being of
mothers and their babies during the transition state
of adapting to motherhood. Baby massage has been
reported to be practiced for years as a part of
traditional parenting styles in cultures around the
world. In the recent years, it has become more
popular in the western countries such as the United
States and Europe as more findings that support
its use have emerged (Caple and Schub, 2016).
Locally, the teaching of mothers to practice massage
with their babies are relatively new. Besides service
provision noted to be run in selected private clinics
or settings, infant massage is presently not included
as a program in the government maternal and child
health clinics.
Recent studies have suggested that infant
massage provides benefits for both mothers and
babies; these benefits include weight gain for
premature babies, relaxation, relief from abdominal
discomfort and colic, stimulation for babies and
relaxation to mothers (
Yılmaz
and Conk, 2009;
Underdown et al., 2010; Garmy, 2012; Melgosa et
al., 2012). A quasi experimental non-randomised
study (n=117) reports that infant massage is
effective in improving attachment and for
establishing a sense of touch and eye contact
between mothers and babies (Gürol and Polat, 2012).
Underdown et al. (2010) reports about the apparent
effect of infant massage on stress hormones and its
positive effect on infants’ sleep.
Positive findings of effects of infant massage on
state anxiety in mothers of preterm infants prior to
hospital discharge has been reported (Afand et al.,
2017). Study among Chilean mothers to massage
their full-term infants showed positive findings on
maternal breast-feeding and infant weight gain at
190 EXPERIENCE OF MOTHERS’ LEARNING AND DOING INFANT MASSAGE
age 2 and 4 months (Serrano et al., 2010). Blended
Infant Massage-Parenting Program offered to
mothers recovering from substance-abuse indicates
good outcome on their parenting stress, self-esteem
and depression (Porter et al., 2015). Recent meta
analyses reports about the efficacy and safety of
using oil for baby massage can effectively promote
infant physical growth and would not increase the
risk of skin side effects, and could be considered as
a safe neonatal nursing method (Li et al., 2016).
The various studies related to infant massage
recruited participants from other socio-cultural
contexts. Furthermore, many of these studies used
structured questionnaires and instruments which
yield objective results related to outcome of infant
massage. Though useful, the quantitative study
approach have limitations with regards to eliciting
mothers’ experiences from their own valued
perspectives, feasible through explorative qualita-
tive approach. Research approaches could be ‘mixed
in ways that offer the best opportunities for
answering important research questions’ (Johnson
and Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Thus, the focus of this
study is directed at exploring the experience of
mothers with learning and doing massge for their
babies within the local social-cultural context.
This study is a part of an ongoing comparative
cohort study which examines infant massage and
its influence on the maternal-child attachment,
babies’ sleep and the breastfeeding outcome. These
involves mothers who are recruited from the selected
maternal and child health clinics with babies
between 4-6 weeks old. Those assigned to the study
group were invited to attend the four weekly sessions
of the adapted infant massage program (McClure,
2015), guided by a certified infant massage
instructor (CIMI) in the clinic. The program
integrated teaching of massage strokes with
discussion on use of oil, preparation of environment,
etc. Participants were given handouts and were
requested to massage their infants twice a day for
15 minutes at home. Study aims to generate a rich
data which would provide further insights from the
participants’ perspectives to supplement the existing
evidence base which may influence service
provision for maternal and child health care with
potential for inclusion of infant massage program.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Research design
An explorative, qualitative approach was
adopted to explore mothers’ experiences with
learning and doing massage with their babies. Semi-
structured questions were used to guide the face-to-
face interviews. Specifically, the method of in-depth
interviewing which seeks to value participants’
experience of social reality in a language that is
natural to them is the assumption which guided the
entire data collection process (Creswell, 2003).
Sample and setting
Purposive sampling approach was used to
recruit participants from within two selected
government maternal and child health clinics
locally. Inclusion criteria include mothers who were
without any major health concerns, with no prior
experience of infant massage and were still breast
feeding their babies. Their babies did not suffer from
severe medical or surgical conditions or any
syndromic features or prematurity. They had
completed the four small-group sessions (of 45
minutes to an hour) at weekly interval; had been
doing the baby massage with their babies at home.
Ethical consideration
Ethics approvals for study were obtained before
recruitment of participants. This includes the
approval from the Faculty Ethic Committee
(UNIMAS/NC-21.02/03-02 Jld.2(21), Medical
Research Ethics Committee approval and approval
from the Director of the Sarawak Health Department.
Clear information regarding study’s objectives and
method of data collection were conveyed to
participants. Written informed consent was obtained
from the participants for their participation. They
were informed that their choice to participate was
voluntary and that they were free to withdraw from
participating at any time, if they desired. They were
assured of anonymity and confidentiality of data as
collected in the study.
Data collection
Participants who consented were interviewed
face to face in the clinics at the end of their 4th
session by the main researcher. All interviews were
conducted in the languages as chosen by the
participants and which the researcher was able to
understand. These included English, Mandarin,
Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysian national language).
Each interview took approximately 45 minutes. A
semi-structured interview guide with open-ended
questions with prompts was used to explore
participants’ experience. Questions used included
Tell me about your experience of doing massage
with your baby”, Probing questions included “How
is doing massage helping your baby? How about
your baby’s sleep? How is doing baby massage
helping you as a mother?” This interview technique
provided participants with the opportunity to
express freely in their own words. Audio recording
of the interviews was conducted to ensure data
accuracy and increase data reliability. Field notes
EXPERIENCE OF MOTHERS’ LEARNING AND DOING INFANT MASSAGE 191
were taken to record further relevant supportive
information. Data collection was ceased once the
data saturation was obtained evidenced by
repetitions of the information provided by all
participants (Berg and Lune, 2012) with establish-
ment of data categories.
Data management and data analysis
Audio recordings were listened repeatedly and
transcribed verbatim. Translated verbatim transcripts
were verified by a multi-lingual language expert.
Thematic analysis guided by Creswell’s six generic
steps of data analysis was conducted (Creswell,
2003). This involved preparing and organizing of
textual data for analysis, reading through textual
data, coding to generate themes, representation of
themes and interpretation of participants’
experiences. During the coding process, all the unit
of information (data segments) that had been coded
from within a single interview transcript were
inspected and compared with the others within the
data sources which also had been coded at. There
was a repeated moving back and forth between
different parts of the data source in order to explore
the context of certain coding references and the
various textual data of the transcripts.
Reflexivity/ reflection on researcher’s role
The background of training of the researcher as
a paediatric nurse and the certification process to
be a CIMI had provided the researcher prior
experience of teaching mothers to do massage for
their babies. Having seen first-hand their babies’
responses, mothers’ contentment and calmness were
apparent. It is to be acknowledged that the
researcher’s role in generating and analyzing data
meaning in relation to mothers’ experience in
learning and doing baby massage in the local
context could be biased (Fraenkel and Wallen,
1993).
RESULTS
Mothers’ background characteristics
The nine participants who were recruited for the
interviews came from the low to medium income
group with more of them with education till the
secondary school level. They depended on their
husbands for transport, except for one (11.1%) who
was mobile with own car to come to the clinic.
Majority of them who were Malays, were house-
wives except for three (33.3%) who would resume
their out-of-home employment after two months of
maternity leaves. They had a mean age of 26.6
(SD=3.24) with range from 21 to 30 years old. They
were first-time mothers, except for three who had
their 2nd child (Refer to Table 1).
Table 2. Themes and subthemes
Experience with baby
• more relaxed and better sleep
• baby-mother bonding
New learnings
• a helpful baby-care skill
• responding to baby’s cues
• establishing a new baby-care routine
Gaining supports
• spousal support
• peer support from other mothers
Table 1. Mothers’ background characteristics
Characteristics (N=9) n (%)
Maternal age (years)
Mean =26.6 (SD=3.24); Range (21 – 30)
Ethnicities
Malay 6 (66.7)
Chinese 1 (11.1)
Iban 2 (222)
Marital status
Married 9 (100.0)
Single 0 (0)
Highest educational level
Primary education 4 (44.4)
Secondary education 5 (55.6)
Employment Status
Employed 3 (33.3)
Unemployed 6 (66.7)
Transport Availability
Mobile with own transport 1 (11.1)
Depend on husband 8 (88.9)
Household Income
Below Rm 1000 4 (44.4)
Rm 1000 – Rm 2000 3 (33.3)
Above Rm 2000 2 (22.2)
Number of children
1st child 6 (66.7)
2nd child 3 (33.3)
Experience of mothers learning and doing baby
massage
Using thematic analysis, textual data from the
interview transcripts and field notes were analysed.
Three major themes and their sub-themes as derived
are outlined in Table 2 below:
Experiences of mothers learning and doing baby
massage as represented by the various themes and
sub-themes as emerged are illustrated by the mothers’
verbatim quotes.
192 EXPERIENCE OF MOTHERS’ LEARNING AND DOING INFANT MASSAGE
Major theme 1: Experience with baby
Mothers’ “experience with baby” contributes
much to their excitement and enthusiasm in learning
and doing massage with their babies. These are
related to their babies who were ‘more relaxed and
slept better’ and the time of baby massage as a time
for ‘baby-mother bonding’.
• More relaxed and sleep better
Among the mothers’ positive experience with baby
massage was the relaxation and better sleep that they
had noticed with their babies. The following few
quotes are illustrative:
“My baby is more calm and relaxed, slept longer at
night; woke up only 2-3 times at night” (Lina). “I
like to see baby comfortable, his sleep is more
soundly...before this he often woke up” (Malia).
After the massage, baby will go to sleep...if I do
the massage in the evening, he will sleep till early
morning” (Marina). “I feel it is good for the baby,
more relaxed, sleep better” (Liza). “Baby is
comfortable, sleep for longer time, helpful in term
of his sleep; only cried because of wanting feed
only” (Latifah).
• Baby-mother bonding
Besides the more relaxed babies these mothers had
noticed, the time that they had spent doing the
massage with their babies were found to be heart-
warming, enjoyable and satisfying moments, as
illustrated by the following quotes:
I get more attached to the baby; because when I
did the massage with baby, I talked to baby and
have eye contact with him...felt the bonding is
there” (Lina). (Observed: her baby smiled and
appeared to interact with mother, cooing; both baby
and mother appeared happy).
“As a mother, I felt closer to my baby, able to
provide the touch (through baby massage); felt
enjoyable and satisfied” (Malia).
“I feel that the more frequent I do the massage for
baby, the closer I am with baby; as if he has already
known who his mother is, though he is small...as if
he can detect my voice and my touch. If his father
did the massage, he would cry; when I did
(massage), he was okay, comfortable; maybe his
hands (the father’s) was rough, he could sense the
mother (was different)” (Latifah).
Major theme 2: New learnings
“New learnings” as depicted by the mothers
related to doing massage with their babies are
indeed encouraging:
• A helpful baby-care skill
In the process of learning and doing baby massage
with their babies, mothers developed a strong sense
of excitement of having learnt a new baby-care skill
which they perceived as helpful to their babies, in
particular they had associated doing massage with
relief of abdominal colic or flatus, as illustrated by
the following quotes:
“A lot of air came out, ‘poo-poo’ (imitate sound of
passing flatus) a lot after the massage on the
abdomen… sometimes half way through the massage
also; it is good” (Lina). “After I have changed her
diapers, I massaged her...sure can hear the sound
of air (flatus) comes out...When baby kept crying...
seems having air in the stomach...it is good for me
that I have learned baby massage...I can help baby
(relieve baby’s discomfort)” (Selinda). “After I have
bathed him and massaged with baby, he will sure
to pass flatus and defecate...very, very useful...for
my baby and myself...it’s a loss if I didn’t come
to the class and learn” (Latifah). “It’s useful...
I definitely encourage other mothers to come for
baby massage” (Liza).
• Responding to baby’s cues
In process of doing massage with their babies,
mothers learnt about their own babies’ cues about
their needs, and learnt to respond to their needs
appropriately.
“Learning to adjust to baby’s timing- if he cried, I
have to attend to his needs, calm him first; if he slept,
I have to wait for him to wake up then only can do
the massage” (Lina). “I would do (massage baby)
10 minutes for one session...if he cried then I
stop...or cried when he wants milk” (Latifah).
“Sometimes baby refused, see his mood; I would
stop; maybe he wanted milk, sleep or not
comfortable; already know his cue” (Malia).
• Establishing a new baby-care routine
Besides mothers’ learning of another child-care skill
which was perceived as helpful, their efforts in
establishing a new baby-care routine is obvious:
“I would massage baby in the morning and evening;
morning 10 am after bathing; if evening at 5 pm,
after bathing (Marina). “I would do the massage in
the evening...he is awake for longer time; morning
he will be sleeping a lot. I may be able to do baby
massage on the weekend, early morning or after
back from work when I start back to work later
(Malia). “I try my best to do the baby massage when
I start work again. It is becoming a care routine
now (Lin).
EXPERIENCE OF MOTHERS’ LEARNING AND DOING INFANT MASSAGE 193
Major theme 3: Gaining supports
• Spousal support
Some of the mothers highlighted the contribution
of spousal helps which enabled them to spend time
to do massage with their babies: My older child is
quite active, concerned he would disturb baby; my
husband would help to look after the older child
while I did baby massage (Lina). “My husband also
took part in doing baby massage (note: mother’s
laughter, excited, her tone of voice raised) ...after I
bathed baby, he did the massage; he can remember
the steps better than I...I still need to refer to the
handout (laughed); He is good; can do the massage
with my elder child who is one year four months
old...at the same time when I did the massage with
my baby. (Selinda)
• Peer supports from other mothers
Besides the bonding with their babies, new learnings
as experienced by mothers in doing massage with
their babies, peers support from other mothers
through baby massage program in a small group was
perceived as beneficial.
I can meet with other mothers whom I have not met
before (Liza). As mother Selinda elaborated, “the
best thing is...able to meet new people...other babies,
exchange experience”. “I could get to know other
mothers, met their babies who are all different; I
asked them about breast feeding; this is my first
time (having baby); I asked those mothers who have
more kids about their experience, how they take care
of children and all that...(Latifah). “Feel happy to
be together with new friends. (Irene)
Mothers’ experiences with baby massage program
as evident above are positive; these include their
experience of baby’s relaxation and better sleep,
baby-mother bonding, new learnings in term of
learning a helpful baby-care skill, responding to
baby cues, establishing new care routine and
supports from spousal and other mothers.
DISCUSSION
The first-time and second-time mothers’ perceived
baby’s relaxation and better sleep as part of positive
experience with babies in doing massage with their
babies is apparent. As mothers, for their infants to
be relaxed and have improved sleep pattern would
help them to feel relaxed. The relaxation and better
sleep is reported to be associated with the reduced
stress-related hormone cortisol and the increased
relaxing hormone oxytocin in the body with
mothers’ nurturing touch (Underdown et al., 2010).
The developing of ‘bonding’ between mother and
their babies through spending time doing massage
has been described by the mothers, in line with
study of Gürol and Polat (2012) which reports about
positive attachment and a sense of touch and eye
contact. Bonding or attachment which has been
defined as the whole continuum of closeness that
happens over time, could be augmented by the
practice of infant massage (McClure, 2008). This
is related to the important elements of bonding,
including eye contact, skin contact, vocalization
and communication-the baby’s responses to the
parents which come into play during the baby
massage routine, as the baby is positioned face to
face with the mother or father (McClure, 2008).
Through touch and massage to nurture and
communicate love to babies is the focus of the
mission statement of the International Association
of Infant Massage (Sylvie, 2015).
Mothers’ ‘new learnings’ related to the learning
of a new baby-care skill perceived as helpful to them
and babies add to their self-esteem and confidence
(McClure, 2015). As elaborated earlier, they were
grateful to have learnt the various massage strokes
for their babies especially when their babies kept
crying apparently due to abdominal colic or
discomfort. These mothers learnt to recognize and
respond to their babies’ cues appropriately and
learnt to understand babies’ expressed needs for
either sleep, feeding or for comfort in the process of
doing massage with them. As a way to communicate,
babies could be using cries, coos and other sound,
thus parents are to pay attention to these cues and
to interpret them’ (McClure, 2008; Sylvie, 2015).
When mothers are ‘attuned to babies’ spontaneous
expressions, they communicate to babies they
understand their needs’. This attunement assists
brain development and creates a foundation for
the negotiation of all social interactions and
experience of positive emotions’ (Porter, 2003)
Involvement of the entire family with spousal
support in doing massage with their babies,
including for the older sibling at their homes are
heartwarming. Fathers’ participation in baby
massage could contribute towards father-infant
interaction and bonding (Cullen et al., 2000).
Providing nurturing touch in families through
participating in infant massage, with spousal
involvement have the benefits towards family
bonding and enhanced relationship (Sylvie, 2015).
McClure (2008) further states that “taking time for
doing massage with their baby after work could
help parents to refocus on home life and help
infants to feel secure and supported” (p. 29). The
perceived peer supports, meeting and learning from
other mothers through attending the small-group
infant massage sessions in the clinic is illuminating.
The group setting was regarded as beneficial, with
learning beyond that of baby massage strokes as it
promotes an informal socio-emotional support
194 EXPERIENCE OF MOTHERS’ LEARNING AND DOING INFANT MASSAGE
especially to the first-time mothers (Sylvie, 2015).
Thus, there is a potential to reduce the risk of
postnatal depression (McClure, 2015).
Findings of positive experience supplement the
existing evidence base which could influence future
practice with potential inclusion of infant massage
program as part of the maternal and child care
service. It could play a meaningful supporting role
for the well-being of mothers and their babies.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors wish to express their thanks to the
Sarawak State Health Director for the approval
to access the clinics to recruit mothers for the
study; staff from the health clinics and the Family
Medicine Department, UNIMAS for their support in
facilitating access to participants, in particular
Asmarlina A, Dayang Z. and Marsita D. Our sincere
thanks to all the mothers for sharing their
experiences. This work had been supported by the
University of Malaysia Sarawak’ Special Grant.
F05/SpSTG/1362/16/4.
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... In an interview-based study by Midtsund et al. (2018), the mothers described how their contact and connection to the child improved during the massage when they felt that they received a positive response from their infant. Moreover, from their analysis of parents/ guardians' experiences, Chan et al. (2018) concluded that the infant massage enhanced attachment when the mother learned to communicate more adequately with her infant (Chan et al., 2018). A study in which they interviewed different focus groups revealed how nurses provide mothers with knowledge about their children's signals and states of mind so that the mothers could more easily understand and connect to their infants, so they could read their signals and use their body language to determine whether they liked the touch or not (Underdown et al., 2013). ...
... In an interview-based study by Midtsund et al. (2018), the mothers described how their contact and connection to the child improved during the massage when they felt that they received a positive response from their infant. Moreover, from their analysis of parents/ guardians' experiences, Chan et al. (2018) concluded that the infant massage enhanced attachment when the mother learned to communicate more adequately with her infant (Chan et al., 2018). A study in which they interviewed different focus groups revealed how nurses provide mothers with knowledge about their children's signals and states of mind so that the mothers could more easily understand and connect to their infants, so they could read their signals and use their body language to determine whether they liked the touch or not (Underdown et al., 2013). ...
... The nurses in this study also mentioned that infant massage tended to make the child more tired, of particular benefit for children with difficulty winding down in the evening. In a study by Chan et al. (2018), most mothers shared similar accounts of their children becoming significantly more relaxed from the infant massage and getting better sleep as the massage made them more tired. Children with a history of waking up frequently during the night woke up fewer times after they received a massage (Chan et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: To describe child health care nurses' experiences of teaching infant massage in parent groups. Design: This was an exploratory-descriptive qualitative study based on individual interviews. Method: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with child health care nurses (N = 9) according to the COREQ guidelines and analyzed with qualitative content analysis. Results: Five categories were identified: (1) Infant massage can promote attachment between parents/guardians and their children; (2) Infant massage can have a calming impact; (3) Stress and lack of time can be challenging; (4) The composition of parent groups can be important and (5) The child health care nurse can observe parents'/guardians' relationships with their children. Child health care nurses are uniquely familiar with infant massage and the benefits it provides both parents/guardians and their infants. Specifically, infant massage has a calming effect that reduces stress and strengthens the relationship between infants and their parents/guardians. Patient or public contribution: Child health care nurses were interviewed.
... Those who practiced IM to their infants experienced higher level of self-esteem, less stress and depression. The experience of peer support from one another in the context of IM by mothers in group sessions was reported (9,10). IM practice and its positive influence on breastfeeding (BF) practice are due to the IM strokes which provide the skin-to-skin contact or touch between mothers and infants (11)(12)(13). ...
... The main research has also examined the influence of IM on maternal-infant attachment, infant sleep and the qualitative experience of mothers learning and doing IM. Findings of mothers' experience learning and doing IM was reported earlier (10). ...
... Positive experience of mothers learning and practising IM with their infants have been reported by mothers. These include the experience of mothers and infants being more relaxed, better mother-infant attachment and gaining support of husband, attributed to learning and practising IM by mothers (10). Thus, IM practice by mothers could potentially play a role contributing towards a more positive BF practice (11). ...
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Introduction: Practice of infant massage by mothers has been reported previously to provide benefits such as nurturing touch, warmth and relaxation to infants and a more positive breastfeeding practice due to its stimulant for oxyto-cin release. This study aimed to determine the influence of infant massage by mothers on their breastfeeding practice in the local context. Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted among 310 mother-infant pairs who were recruited from five selected health centres within First Division of Sarawak. Intervention group participants (n=155) were taught to do infant-massage during the clinic session and instructed to practice 15 minutes twice daily throughout the two-months intervention period, while the control group (n=155) were not. Breastfeeding practice data were obtained using questionnaire from both groups pre-intervention at infants' age one-month and post-intervention at age three-months. Results: Multinomial regression analysis showed that those in the intervention group were two times more likely than the control group for exclusive breastfeeding when compared to mothers who stopped breast-feeding (RR=2.022, 95% CI=1.007, 4.071; p-value=0.048). Similarly, mothers from the intervention group were two and half times more likely than control group for mixed feeding (RR=2.560, 95% CI=1.280, 5.121; p-value=0.008). Those who were housewives were nearly three times more likely than the private workers for exclusive breastfeeding (RR=2.734, 95% CI=1.246, 5.997; p-value=0.012). Conclusion: Infant massage influenced breastfeeding practice positively at infants' age three-months, in particular, among mothers who were housewives. Healthcare providers should encourage infant massage practice by mothers as part of the maternal and child healthcare service.
... After joining the class, most mothers indicated that they were happy through a discussion of feelings. The findings were consistent with a previous study that showed that performing infant massage is a heart-warming, enjoyable, and satisfying moment [31]. In terms of obstacles in joining online infant massage, the internet connection appears to be the main issue, as all mothers live in rural areas where they have limited internet access. ...
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Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic impacts maternal and perinatal health. Fear of COVID-19 transmission may lead to psychological disorders among mothers, such as anxiety and depression, which might affect the infant's health. Innovation is needed to address problems related to this condition. This study aimed to explore the experiences of mothers who had attended online infant massage classes. Methods This qualitative survey recruited 12 Indonesian mothers who had infants aged < 12 months and joined the online infant massage class. An open-ended question form was used to collect data, which were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results There were six themes related to the experiences of mothers attending online infant massage classes: favorite session, new knowledge and skills, benefits, barriers during infant massage class, factors related to infant massage practice, and mother’s hope. Conclusions Mothers had a good experience learning infant massage and had better interaction with their infants after the class. The findings show that an online infant massage class could benefit both mothers and infants.
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Infant massage is performed in various international contexts. There is a need for an updated literature review on this topic. The purpose of the current review was to investigate the effects of infant massage. A systematic literature review was conducted to investigate the effects of infant massage on the following outcomes: pain relief, jaundice, and weight gain. The inclusion criteria were infants from 0-12 months. The literature search was performed until January 2022, using the CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycINFO databases, and included studies published from 2017-2021, returning 16 RCT/CCT studies with a total of 1416 participating infants. A review template was used by two independent reviewers to assess the risk of bias in the included studies. The results were synthesized and presented in the form of tables and narratives. In five of seven studies (n = 422 resp. n = 717) investigating pain relief, infant massage was found to alleviate pain. In all six studies (n = 455) investigating effects on infant massage and jaundice, beneficial effects were found on bilirubin levels. In all four studies (n = 244) investigating weight gain, increased weight gain was found among participants who received infant massage. The present literature review provides an indication of the current state of knowledge about infant massage and identifies its positive effects; however, the results must be interpreted with caution. Infant massage may be effective at relieving pain, improving jaundice, and increasing weight gain. Although statistically significant differences were not found between all experimental and control groups, no adverse effects of infant massage were observed. By placing the aforementioned effects in the context of child health care, infant massage may prove beneficial on these outcomes. Given the dearth of research on infant massage in the context of child health care, further research is warranted.
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Purpose: This study aimed to determine whether a blended Infant Massage–Parenting Enhancement Program (IMPEP) improved maternal psychosocial health outcomes (parenting stress, depressive symptoms, self-esteem, maternal attachment) and maternal-infant interaction among substance-addicted mothers (SAMs) actively engaged in outpatient rehabilitation. Methods: Designed as a randomized, three-group controlled trial testing two levels of psychoeducational intervention (IMPEP vs. PEP) and a control group (standard care parenting resources), the study was conducted in two substance abuse centers in southeast Florida on a convenience sample of 138 recovering SAM-infant pairs. IMPEP or PEP classes were held weekly on Weeks 2–5, with data collected at baseline (Week 1), Week 6, and Week 12 via structured interviews, observation (Observation Checklist on Maternal-Infant Interaction), and self-administered questionnaires (Abidin Parenting Stress Index, Beck Depression Inventory, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Muller's Maternal Attachment Inventory), analyzed descriptively and inferentially using Kruskall-Wallis analysis of variance and post hoc Wilcoxon rank sum and Mann-Whitney U tests. Results: Both IMPEP and PEP groups had significantly increased Parenting Stress Index scores (decreased parenting stress) and decreased Beck Depression Inventory scores (decreased depressive symptoms) compared to controls at Week 12, whereas there were no clinically meaningful differences among study groups in Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Muller's Maternal Attachment Inventory, or Observation Checklist on Maternal-Infant Interaction scores. Only the IMPEP group showed significant improvements in both psychological and physical (waist-hip ratio) measures of parenting stress over time. Conclusions: The findings suggest that infant massage blended into a structured parenting program has value-added effects in decreasing parenting stress and maternal depressive symptoms, but not on SAM's self-esteem, attachment, or maternal-infant interaction.
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Purpose This study was conducted to examine the effect of baby massage on attachment between mothers and their newborns. Methods This study was carried out from June 2008 to February 2010 in a quasi-experimental design (57 in the experimental group, 60 in the control group). Between the dates of the study, all healthy primipara mothers and their healthy babies were included. Data were collected regarding their demographic characteristics and by using the Maternal Attachment Inventory (MAI). All mothers were assessed on the first and the last days of the 38-day study period. In the experimental group, the babies received a 15-minute massage therapy session everyday during the 38 days. Results There was no significant difference found in the pretest mean value baseline of the MAI score in both groups. The posttest mean values of the MAI of the experimental group mothers (90.87 ± 10.76) were significantly higher than those of control group (85.10 ± 15.50). There was a significant difference between groups (p < .05). Conclusion The results of the study have shown that baby massage is effective in increasing the mother–infant attachment.
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Touch establishes powerful physical and emotional connections between infants and their caregivers, and plays an essential role in development. The objective of this systematic review was to identify published research to ascertain whether tactile stimulation is an effective intervention to support mental and physical health in physically healthy infants. Twenty‐two studies of healthy infants with a median age of six months or less met our inclusion criteria. The limited evidence suggests that infant massage may have beneficial effects on sleeping and crying patterns, infants’ physiological responses to stress (including reductions in serum levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine, and urinary cortisol levels), establishing circadian rhythms through an increase in the secretion of melatonin, improving interaction between mother‐infant dyads in which the mother is postnatally depressed, and promoting growth and reducing illness for limited populations (i.e. infants in an orphanage where routine tactile stimulation is low). The only other evidence of a significant impact of massage on growth in infants living in families was obtained from a group of studies regarded to be at high risk of bias which we have reported separately. There is no evidence of a beneficial effect on infant temperament, attachment or cognitive development. There is, therefore, some evidence of benefits on mother‐infant interaction, sleeping and crying, and on hormones influencing stress levels. In the absence of evidence of harm, these findings support the use of infant massage in the community, particularly in contexts where infant stimulation is poor. Further research is needed, however, before it will be possible to recommend universal provision.
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Aims and objectives: This study evaluated the effect of infant massage on anxiety in mothers of preterm infants who discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Background: Birth of preterm infants commonly leads to great levels of distress and anxiety in mothers. Although various methods have been suggested to help mothers cope with such stressful conditions, the effects of infant massage has not been adequately studied in mothers. Design: This was a quasi-experimental clinical trial. Methods: Overall, 70 mothers and their preterm infants who scheduled to be discharged within 24 h, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) scale (Spielberger) was completed for mothers in both groups in the morning of the day before discharge. The experimental group received 8 minutes of massage including two standard similar parts (each part 4 minutes). The massage was repeated in two parts on the day of discharge, and then State anxiety was re-measured using Spielberg's scale for all mothers. The control group received no intervention. Results: The results showed that on the day of discharge, there was a significant difference in the overall mean score of maternal state anxiety (MSA) between the two groups (P < 0.002), although not in the severity of MSA. In both groups, the mean score of MSA was significantly decreased on the day discharge (P < 0.001). Conclusions: The findings provide evidence that infant massage by mother has an effect on the state anxiety of mothers of pre term infants, so it is recommended that mothers apply massage for preterm infants to improve their mental health. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Eligibility criteria: The randomized controlled trials, clinical controlled trials and quasi-experimentally designed trials published prior to or in 2014 were searched according to predetermined inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria in Medline, PubMed, Ovid, the Cochran Library, and Chinese databases, including the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wan Fang database and VIP journal integration platform. Besides, the grey lectures were searched as well through Open Grey, GrayLIT Network and Clinical Trials.gov. Sample: Eight studies out of 625 retrieved articles were eligible for inclusion. Results: Oil massage increased the infant weights, lengths and head circumferences. However, it did not promote a significant advantage in neurobehavioral scores or cause a significant risk of adverse skin reactions. Implications: The core mechanisms and standard procedures of oil massage as well as the preferred oil type should be the focus of future nursing practice and research. Conclusions: Oil massage may effectively improve the physical growth of infants, and it presents a limited risk of adverse skin reactions. However, the relationship between neurodevelopment and oil massage requires further study.
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How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education provides a comprehensive introduction to educational research. The text covers the most widely used research methodologies and discusses each step in the research process in detail. Step-by-step analysis of real research studies provides students with practical examples of how to prepare their work and read that of others. End-of-chapter problem sheets, comprehensive coverage of data analysis, and information on how to prepare research proposals and reports make it appropriate both for courses that focus on doing research and for those that stress how to read and understand research. The authors' writing is simple and direct and the presentations are enhanced with clarifying examples, summarizing charts, tables and diagrams, numerous illustrations of key concepts and ideas, and a friendly two-color design.
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Infants were given massages by their fathers for 15 minutes prior to their daily bedtime for one month. By the end of the study, the fathers who massaged their infants were more expressive and showed more enjoyment and more warmth during floor‐play interactions with their infants.