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Pediatr Nurs. 2004 Sep-Oct;30(5):363-72, 401.

A blended infant massage--parenting enhancement program for recovering substance-abusing mothers.

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  • 1School of Nursing, College of Health and Urban Affairs, Florida International University, North Miami, FL, USA.


Interventions that build upon the natural components of early mother-infant interactions are critical to reversing the sequelae of maternal substance abuse and breaking the cycle of addiction. This paper proposes a theoretical model that blends infant massage (IM) into a planned parenting enhancement program (PEP) to promote improved health outcomes in recovering substance- abusing mothers (SAMs) and their babies. With 4.6 million women of child-bearing age regularly using cocaine in the United States and 750,000 drug-exposed births annually, maternal substance abuse highlights the multigenerational impact of drug use in high-risk populations and its risks to our children. The proposed IMPEP model provides a means to assist recovering SAMs in making cognitive-behavioral changes through new knowledge about parenting and parenting skills, with a special focus on infant stimulation via massage. The goal is to enable recovering SAMs to become confident and responsive mothers, empowering them to become effective parents. Pilot data suggest the Infant Massage Parenting Enhancement Program (IMPEP) is effective for both mother and infant, and merits a controlled systematic study.

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