Massage is increasingly used prior to and during delivery. Researchers have found that massage therapy reduces pain during labor (Gallo & others, 2018, Shahoei & others, 2017). For example, a recent study found that lower back massage reduced women's labor pain and increased their satisfaction with the experience (Unalmis Erdogan, Yanikkereem & Goker 2018)
A study found that both kangaroo care (the holding of a baby upright against the parent's bare skin for 2-3 hours daily) and massage therapy were equally effective in improving body weight and reducing length of hospital stay for low birth weight infants (Rangey & Sheth, 2014). In another recent study, massage therapy improved the scores of HIV-exposed infants on both physical and mental scales, while also improving their hearing and speech (Perez & others, 2015).