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Fathers may feel dissatisfied with their ability to form a close attachment with their infants in the early postpartum period, which, in turn, may increase their parent-related stress. Our study sought to determine if an infant massage intervention assisted fathers with decreasing stress
and increasing bonding with their infants during this time. To address the complex father‐infant relationship, we conducted a pilot study using a mixed methodology approach. Twelve infant‐father dyads participated in the intervention, and 12 infant‐father dyads populated
a wait-list control group. Paternal stress was measured using the Parenting Stress Index at baseline and at postintervention. We found infant massage instruction significantly decreased paternal stress. Our findings were also supported by the qualitative data and suggest fathers may benefit
from applied postnatal education.
The Journal of Perinatal Education is the official journal of Lamaze International, whose mission is to promote, support, and protect natural, safe, and healthy birth through education and advocacy. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles and evidence-based, practical resources that childbirth educators and other health care professionals can use to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their care or teaching to prepare expectant parents for birth.