Massaging newborns may help with weight gain up to 2 months of age: study

A Chilean study has revealed the potential benefits of infant massage for newborns in increasing their weight gain.

The study involved a sample 35 infants whose mothers were encouraged to massage them every day for 10-15 minutes at a time, from the age of 15 days until 4 months.

While no significant differences in weight were found when the babies were 4 months old, there were differences between the massaged infants and the control group at 2 months of age.

Although a small study, the researchers concluded that their findings add to a growing body of literature regarding the positive correlation between infant massage and weight gain in newborns. Serrano, Doren and Wilson suggest that a number of factors such as mother’s heightened awareness of their newborn brought about by greater bonding and attachment as well as better recognition of their baby’s cues may have been factors.

Serrano, M.S.C, Doren, F.M., & Wilson, L. (2010). Teaching Chilean Mothers to Massage Their Full-Term Infants: Effects on Maternal Breast-Feeding and Infant Weight Gain at Age 2 and 4 Months. Journal of Perinatal, Neonatal Nursing, 24 (2), 172 – 179.