Teaching chilean mothers to massage their full-term infants: Effects on maternal breast-feeding and infant weight gain at age 2 and 4 months

Academic Article


  • The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of massage on infant weight gain and exclusive maternal breast-feeding of an intervention that involved teaching mothers to massage their full-term infants. The sample included 100 healthy newborn infants who were receiving primary healthcare at 3 health centers in a low-income neighborhood of Santiago, Chile. The control group included 65 infants and the massage group included 35 infants. During their second well-child clinic visit, clinic nurses provided instruction to massage-group mothers about how to massage their infants, based on the methods of the Baby's First Massage program (http://www.babysfirstmassage.com/Scripts/ default.asp). Mothers were encouraged to massage their infants for 10 to 15 minutes at least once a day, starting when their infants were 15 days old. There was no difference in the mean weights of the infants between the massage and control groups at baseline, but at age 2 months, massage group infants weighed significantly more than control-group infants. There were no weight differences between the 2 groups at age 4 months. There were no differences between the 2 groups on the incidence of exclusive maternal breast-feeding at age 2 or 4 months. The findings suggest that teaching mothers to massage their newborn infants may have a beneficial effect on the infant's early weight gain. There is a need for additional studies to evaluate the effect of maternal massage on other health and welfare outcomes for both mothers and infants. Copyright © 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Serrano MSC; Doren FM; Wilson L
  • Start Page

  • 172
  • End Page

  • 179
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 2