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Non-pharmacological interventions to improve postpartum maternal sleep

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Dr Anita Kant    13 April 2018

Poor postpartum sleep quality is suggested to be a risk factor for the development of postpartum depression. A systematic review and meta-analysis, published in Sleep Medicine Reviews, evaluated the role of non-pharmacological interventions in improving maternal sleep and compared the effectiveness of different intervention types. Secondary aims of the analysis included evaluation of the effects on maternal mood and infant sleep. Non-pharmacological sleep interventions appeared to improve subjective reports of maternal sleep. Massage and exercise interventions were found to have the largest impact on maternal sleep quality. Positive effects were found for interventions overall on nocturnal infant sleep, but not for maternal depression. Further research in this field may shed more light on the durability of effects of non-pharmacological interventions.

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