The Effect of Massage and Acupressure on Breast Engorgement: A Review

Authors

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

2 Medical Student, Student Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Science, Sari, Iran.

3 MD, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Sayyad Shirazi Hospital, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.

5 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Sari Imam Khomeini Hospital, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

6 Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Sari Imam Khomeini Hospital, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

Abstract

Background: Breast engorgement is a postpartum problem in postpartum mothers;more than two-thirds of women develop it. Therefore, various complementary medicine techniques are used to decrease severity of breast engorgement. We aimed to determine the effect of massage and acupressure on severity of breast engorgement in lactating mothers.
Materials and Methods: In this review,the search process for clinical trials of massage and acupressure on breast engorgement in lactating mothers was carried out systematically on the databases of Medline, Web of Science, EMBASE, Cochrane and Scopus. The single and combined keywords of (Breast Hyperemia OR Breast Engorgement OR Treatment OR Therapeutics OR Therapy OR Lactating) AND (Acupressure OR Massage), without time restriction from inception up to February 10, 2019 were searched. Two reviewers did study selection.
Results: Finally, six studies were included (with 581 participants). The findings of four studies showed that acupressure has positive effects on breast engorgement. In one study, an intervention protocol consisting of pamphlet and video preparation, massage (once a day for two days), breastfeeding training, counseling and support resulted in a greater reduction in breast size, lower sodium levels in breast milk, and greater breastfeeding than the control (no intervention) group. Another study showed that the decrease in breast engorgement intensity in the breast Oketani-massage group was significantly greater than the control group.
Conclusion: A supportive approach can be used to improve mild breast engorgement, and both acupressure and massage can be used to treat moderate and severe breast engorgement. Therapeutic measures can be accomplished alone or in combination with pharmacology.

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