Postnatal depression is no joke, and even those who have not suffered it personally are well aware that when their baby is fussing and won't sleep, that their own tiredness and frustration can easily cloud their perception and lead to low mood.
Baby Massage research tends to focus on the benefits that it has for the baby (there are so many!), but a research study from The School of Medicine at the University of Athens in to the effects of Baby Massage on Maternal Distress suggests that the positive effects it has on baby also in turn help Mum hugely.
They found that Baby Massage not only increases a baby's likelihood of going to sleep with less fussing, increasing the number of quiet sleep hours s/he gets and also produces a content, drowsy baby immediately after the massage itself, who expresses greater numbers of (happy) vocalizations and shows reduced restlessness. This lovely "massage-drunk" baby making coo-ing noises and acting sleepy in turn immediately lowers its mother's anxiety levels, increases her tendency towards soft playful behaviour and enhances her perception of her infant's temperament. In very basic terms, your baby is easier to handle and acts even more cutely after a massage, s/he also sleeps better and for longer, so mum catches a much-needed break.