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Massage Helps Babies Sleep
Posted: November 9, 2006
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One of the studies found that massage could affect the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, helping babies' sleeping patterns.
Another showed that babies in an orphanage who usually had little tactile stimulation grew faster, were less ill and had less clinical visits when they were given massage, made eye contact with and spoken to.
The researchers also found that massage built better relationships between babies and mothers who had postnatal depression.
Angela Underdown, who led the research, said: "Given the apparent effect of infant massage on stress hormones, it is not surprising to find some evidence of an effect on sleep and crying.
"It gives parents and babies intimate time. We haven't said that it should be on offer to everyone, but massage does no harm, and it improves a number of factors. It seems to have some effect on sleep and relaxation.