Poor Sleep a Contributing Factor to Gestational Diabetes - by admin@mcb on June 27 2017

Poor Sleep a Contributing Factor to Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes and Poor Sleep

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a prenatal complication that can have a negative impact on both the mother and the baby. A recent study linked two different sleep behaviors (short sleep duration, and going to bed late), with an increased incidence of GDM.

The study was performed by Dr. Francesca Facco of Magee-Women’s Research Institute and Foundation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Few studies have objectively evaluated the duration, timing and quality of sleep in pregnancy and explored the relationship between objectively measured sleep and maternal and perinatal outcomes,” Dr. Facco and her team stated.

Their study included 782 women who were between 16 to 22 weeks into their pregnancies. The results showed that women who received less than seven hours of sleep per night (27.9% of the participants) were more than twice as likely to develop gestational diabetes as compared to those who slept longer. A separate factor in GDM was sleep midpoint, the halfway point between bedtime and rise time. Women whose sleep midpoint, regardless of duration of sleep, was later than 5 a.m. (18.9% of study participants) had an even greater odds ratio for GDM. Researchers stated that both findings were statistically significant.

The study suggests that getting to bed earlier, and sleeping more than seven hours per night, reduce the likelihood of developing GDM.

Citation: Am J Obstet Gynecol 2017.

Massage Helps Improve Sleep

The National Institutes of Health has advised that massage therapy can reduce fatigue and improve sleep.

Getting regular prenatal massage may therefore have a positive effect on lowering the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

If you wish to become certified as a prenatal massage therapist, Institute of Somatic Therapy offers certification in pregnancy massage.

Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education approved provider, #280672-00.

 

Father’s Involvement Reduces Obesity in Children - by admin@mcb on June 13 2017

Father’s Involvement Reduces Obesity in Children

Father’s Involvement Reduces Obesity in Children

Infant massage isn’t just for mothers. In fact, there are several reasons why fathers should be just as involved in childcare, including learning infant massage for their babies.

Infant massage has many benefits for children, as well as benefits to the parents, as prior articles on this blog have detailed. One more benefit can be added to the list: lowering the risk of obesity in children.

A recent analysis of several studies showed that increased participation in childcare by fathers lowered the likelihood of the child becoming obese by age 4 by 33%.

The study followed over 10,000 American children from birth to first grade. All of the children in the study lived in two-parent, heterosexual households where the father was not the primary caregiver. The fathers in the study worked an average 46 hours a week and mothers worked an average 18 hours a week.

Michelle S. Wong, leader of the study, said, “There is growing evidence of the importance of fathers’ involvement in raising children in other areas of children’s development, and our study suggests that there may be benefits to child health as well.” Obesity in children is of growing concern, and something that can reduce it by 33% should be promoted throughout the medical community.

The complete study can be found here.

Include Fathers in Infant Massage Classes

Infant massage courses teach simple, yet effective, techniques for relieving many conditions common to babies. It is simple by design, since it is intended to be easily learned by new parents with no massage therapy training or background. The infant massage certification course offered by Institute of Somatic Therapy also includes movements and stretches designed to stimulate brain development and muscle coordination. To become certified in infant massage, students complete the 16 CE online course, and perform two infant massage classes. For details about the course, click here.

Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education approved provider, #280672-00.

Postpartum Anxiety Relieved by Massage - by admin@mcb on June 09 2017

Postpartum Anxiety Relieved by Massage

Postpartum anxiety is one of the most common complaints in the postpartum period, and has several negative consequences. It can delay or prevent the release of oxytocin, potentially interfering with breastfeeding. Anxiety may negatively influence the emotional bond between the mother and infant, leading lead to potential psychological problems in children. Additionally, postpartum anxiety is a very strong predictor of postpartum depression. Early treatment of postpartum anxiety may help reduce postpartum depression disorder.

Research on Massage in Postpartum Anxiety

Iranian researchers conducted a controlled clinical trial to test the efficacy of massage therapy on postpartum anxiety. The study consisted of 100 primiparous (first time) mothers with normal deliveries. Women were divided into two groups – a massage group and a control group. Members of both groups were similar in age, education, and the use of medication during labor. (Citation: Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2016 Aug; 18(8): e34270. )

Massage was chosen as a treatment due to its ability to decrease levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenalin. Massage also has other beneficial physiological effects, especially muscle relaxation. Relaxation in the postpartum period decreases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. This can prevent postpartum depression, and it can also increase effective mother-infant attachment.

Postpartum Massage

In the experimental group, slow-stroke back massage was performed for 20 minutes. The massage was described as follows:

“The mother was seated on the edge of the bed. Then, the researcher grasped the top of the mother’s shoulders with both hands and placed the thumbs of each hand just below the base of the skull, making tiny circular movements on the upper neck. In the next stage, the researcher placed the palm of one hand at the base of the skull and made a long and smooth stroke all the way down the patient’s spine to her waist. The second hand followed the first at the base of the skull and stroked down the spine as the first hand returned to the base of the skull. Next, the researcher placed her hands on either side of the mother’s neck under the mother’s ears and stroked down and over the mother’s collarbones with her thumbs just over the shoulder blades and repeated the motion several times. Then, she placed the thumb of each of her hands beside the spine, beginning with the shoulders, and moved the thumbs down the spine to the waist and repeated this movement several times. Finally, she completed the procedure by placing her palms on each side of the mother’s neck and making continuous, long, sweeping strokes down the neck, across each shoulder, and down the back near the spine and repeated the entire process several times.”

Research Results

In the control group, a researcher sat with the mother for 20 minutes but performed no massage. Twenty minutes later, and again the following morning, the mothers completed anxiety questionnaires.

Prior to the massage, both groups had similar anxiety levels as shown in questionnaires. Immediately after the massage and the next morning, there was a significant difference in the anxiety scores. After receiving the massage, the anxiety level of the experimental group was significantly reduced. Research on mothers on the first day after labor, third day after labor, and second day after birth reported similar results. The level of anxiety in the control group did not change.

As a result of this study, it is recommended that midwives, nurses, or other caregivers use massage in the early days after labor to help the mother achieve relaxation.

Learning Prenatal and Postpartum Massage

To learn more about prenatal and postpartum massage, Institute of Somatic Therapy offers a certification in prenatal massage. We also offer related courses in doula support and infant massage.