The psychological effects of aromatherapy-massage in healthy postpartum mothers

J Midwifery Womens Health. Mar-Apr 2006;51(2):e21-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2005.08.009.


This study examined the effect of aromatherapy-massage in healthy postpartum mothers. A quasi-experimental between-groups design was used. Mothers who received aromatherapy-massage were compared with a control group who received standard postpartum care. Thirty-six healthy, first-time mothers with vaginal delivery of a full-term, healthy infant participated in this study. Sixteen mothers received a 30-minute aromatherapy-massage on the second postpartum day; 20 mothers were in the control group. All mothers completed the following four standardized questionnaires before and after the intervention: 1) Maternity Blues Scale; 2) State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; 3) Profile of Mood States (POMS); and 4) Feeling toward Baby Scale. In the aromatherapy-massage group, posttreatment scores significantly decreased for the Maternity Blues Scale, the State-Anxiety Inventory, and all but one of the Profile of Mood States subscales. Posttreatment scores in the intervention group significantly increased in Profile of Mood States-Vigor subscale and the Approach Feeling toward Baby subscale. Scores in the intervention group significantly decreased in Conflict Index of Avoidance/Approach Feeling toward Baby subscale. Our results suggest that aromatherapy-massage might be an effective intervention for postpartum mothers to improve physical and mental status and to facilitate mother-infant interaction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Aromatherapy / psychology*
  • Citrus
  • Depression, Postpartum / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lavandula
  • Massage / psychology*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Postpartum Period / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Oils, Volatile