Background: We aimed to review interventional studies on the effect of acupuncture, acupressure, and massage techniques on the symptoms of breast engorgement and breast milk volume.
Materials and Methods: Systemic search of online databases (Medline, Cochrane, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Scopus), for randomized control trial and non-randomized prospective or retrospective clinical studies which were published up to Nov 2020, were done. No language or time restrictions were considered. Study selection was done by two reviews.
Results: Nine studies were included. In the first study, no significant difference was found in the mean breast milk volume between the two intervention groups (GB21, LI4 and SI1 acupoints), and control group. In the second study, the group receiving acupressure on the SI1, ST17 and CV18 acupoints exhibited a significant increase in the breast milk production. In the third study, the co- administration of affirmation relaxation and acupressure enhanced the breastfeeding self-efficacy (p = 0.045), and the breast milk volume (p = 0.033). In the fourth study the results revealed a significant difference in the mean breast milk volume in breast acupressure and oxytocin than control groups. In the fifth study, treatment with acupuncture significantly increased exclusive breastfeeding in acupuncture group. In the sixth study, milk production was significantly higher in Tuina therapy compared to the control group. Acupressure and acupuncture were effective onbreast milk volume and breast engorgement.
Conclusion: Treatment with acupuncture and acupressure on GB21, LI4 and SI1, ST17 and CV18 acupoints, could improve milk volume. Also, combination of acupressure with relaxation or oxytocin massage could improve breast milk production. Acupressure and acupuncture can decrease breast engorment and breast pain in lactating mothers, too.