THE EFFECT OF MATERNAL TOUCH ON ACTIVITY LEVELS OF FULL TERM INFANTS AT EARLY POST NATAL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT

*Goldstein Ferber S. **Zisapel N. **Laudon M. *Kuint J. ***Weller A.

*Department of Neonatology, Sheba Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel

** Department of Biochemistry, Tel Aviv University, Israel

***Department of Psychology, Bar Ilan University, Israel

 

Objective: Investigate the effect of maternal touch utilized during evenings on activity levels of full term infants post natal.

Methods: A novel procedure of maternal touch based on Brazeltoní»s results in full terms (1975) and on othersí» results in animal newborns (Galland et al. 1993) was demonstrated by mothers while putting their babies to sleep. Each mother carried out the treatment for 14 days starting at day 10 post natal. Actigraphs measures were supplied before and after the 14 days of demonstration and at 6 and 8 weeks of age. At each date of measurement 24 hours were measured. Two groups (16 mothers and singleton infants dyads) were included: one experimental group and one no-treatment control group. Exposure to light after 8pm and before 6am was controlled. Mothers that used touch during putting to sleep were not included in the control group.

Results: The groups were not significantly different in birth weight (range 2800gr

through 3500gr) and in gestational age (38W through 42W). Activity levels were significantly different at 8 weeks post natal. Treatment subjects performed a peak of activity at dawn  (4am through 7am) whereas control subjects performed the peak of activity one hour before midnight through dawn (11pm ĘC 4am).

Conclusions: Maternal touch is beneficial for the facilitation of the sleep wake cycle maturation before the age of three months, which is the normal age of the Pineal Gland maturation. Peak of activity is less harmful for the maternal well being following the touch mode of putting the baby to sleep.

 

 

 
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