Breast binding... is it all that it's wrapped up to be?

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. May-Jun 2003;32(3):332-9. doi: 10.1177/0884217503253531.


Objective: To investigate the difference in breast symptoms between breast binding and support bra wearing in nonbreastfeeding postpartum mothers.

Design: A systematic replication of an earlier study by Bristol using a pre-experimental posttest design.

Setting: A private, for-profit hospital in a city in the south-central region of the United States.

Participants: Sixty nonbreastfeeding postpartum women who gave birth to viable newborns of singleton gestations, had an uncomplicated postpartum, and did not receive hormonal lactation suppressants.

Main outcome measures: Postpartum breast engorgement, leakage, tenderness, and use of pain relief measures as measured by the Bristol Record of Symptoms.

Results: Analysis of the data revealed no significant difference relative to breast engorgement between the two groups during the first 10 postpartum days. However, the breast-binder group reported a greater degree of breast tenderness, breast leakage, and use of other pain relief measures.

Conclusion: Breast binding should be discontinued as a method of lactation suppression and use of support bras encouraged. Future studies need to focus on comfort for nonbreastfeeding, postpartum mothers.

MeSH terms

  • Bandages*
  • Breast / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Pain Management
  • Postpartum Period