Researchers at the University of Warwick, London have approved gentle massages of babies. They say that by gently massaging babies, they can sleep well at night. Indian mothers have been always doing this for ages.
An online edition of Daily Mail reported that Researchers led by Angela Underdown at Warwick Medical School and the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick wanted to see what effect the massage had on the baby.
They looked at nine different studies covering 598 babies all under one year old. In each case, health workers had trained the parents giving the massage.
Overall, the research showed that infants benefited from massage as they tended to cry less, sleep better and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to those who did not receive massages, the researchers said.
The study also found that massage built better relationships between babies and mothers who had postnatal depression.
Said Dr Underdown: 'There are indications that infants who were massaged were more relaxed, probably due to lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol compare to infants who did not receive massage.'
She advised parents wanting to learn it to try to attend a local group where they could learn the techniques from midwives or health visitors.