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Infant Behav Dev. 2009 Dec;32(4):454-60. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Jul 30.

Pregnancy massage reduces prematurity, low birthweight and postpartum depression.

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Touch Research Institutes, University of Miami Medical School, PO Box 016820, Miami, FL 33101, USA.


Pregnant women diagnosed with major depression were given 12 weeks of twice per week 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 and low birthweight, and they had lower cortisol levels and performed better on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment habituation, orientation and motor scales.

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