Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the effects of infant massage (auditory (mother's voice), tactile/kinesthetic (massage) and visual (eye to eye contact) stimulation) on weight and height of infant and mother-infant interaction with normal infants over a period of 4 weeks.
Method: This study was designed as a nonequivalent control group pretest-posttest design. The experimental group infants (aged 2-6 months) participated in one of the infant massage programs at the health district center for 4 weeks. The control group (N=26) was paired with the experimental group (N=26) by matching the infant's age and sex. Infant weight, height, and mother-infant interaction were measured two times and recordings of the mother-infant interaction were done using the video equipment in a room at the health center for 10 minutes.
Results: After 4 weeks of massage, there were no significant differences weight gain and height increase between the two groups. Comparison of the total scores for the mother-infant interaction between the two groups showed a significant difference (t=5.21, p=.000). There were also significant differences on maternal response (t=3.78, p=000), infant response (t=5.71, p=000) and dyadic response (t=4.05, p=000) in the mother-infant interaction between the two groups.
Conclusion: Overall, the results of this study reassure that infant massage facilitates the mother-infant interaction for infants and mothers who give massage to their baby.