Pregnancy massage reduces prematurity, low birth weight and postpartum depression.
Pregnant women diagnosed with major depression were given 12 weeks of twice-per-week pregnancy massage therapy by their significant other, or only standard treatment as a control group.
The massage therapy group women versus the control group women not only had reduced depression by the end of the therapy period, but they also had reduced depression and cortisol levels during the postpartum period. Their newborns were also less likely to be born prematurely or with low birth weight, and the babies had lower cortisol levels and performed better on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment habituation, orientation and motor scales.
Read the full research paper: Pregnancy massage reduces prematurity, low birth weight and postpartum depression.
Source: Infant Behav Dev. 2009 Dec;32(4):454-60. Epub 2009 Jul 30.
Pregnancy massage therapy reduces pain in pregnant women, alleviates prenatal depression in both parents and improves their relationships.
Prenatally depressed women (N=47) were randomly assigned to a group that received pregnancy massage twice weekly from their partners from 20 weeks gestation until the end of pregnancy or a control group. Self-reported leg pain, back pain, depression, anxiety and anger decreased more for the massaged pregnant women than for the control group women.
In addition, the partners who massaged the pregnant women reported less depressed mood, anxiety and anger than the control group partners across the course of the pregnancy massage therapy period.
Finally, scores on a relationship questionnaire improved more for both the women and the partners in the massage group. This data suggests that not only mood states but also relationships improve mutually when depressed pregnant women are massaged by their partners.
Read the full article on how pregnancy massage alleviates prenatal depression and improves relationships.
Source: J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2008 Apr;12(2):146-50. Epub 2007 Oct 2.
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