Composition of milk obtained from unmassaged versus massaged breasts of lactating mothers

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2004 May;38(5):484-7. doi: 10.1097/00005176-200405000-00005.


Background: The Oketani method is a program of breast massage and clinical counseling developed by the midwife Satomi Oketani. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of the method on the quality of breast milk by determining the chemical composition of the milk before and after massage.

Methods: Milk samples were obtained immediately before and after massage from healthy, exclusively breast-feeding Japanese mothers at two different periods of lactation one <3 months the other >3 months after parturition. Lipids, whey protein, casein, lactose, ash, and total solids in milk were measured in milk samples. The gross energy content of milk was estimated.

Results: Breast massage significantly increased lipids in the late lactating period but not in the early lactating period. In the early lactating period casein was increased by breast massage but was not significantly affected in the late lactating period. Breast massage caused a significant increase in total solids from the first day to 11 months post partum. The gross energy in the late lactating period was significantly increased by breast massage but not in the early lactating period. Lactose was not significantly changed by breast massage.

Conclusions: Breast massage improves the quality of human milk by significantly increasing total solids, lipids, and casein concentration and gross energy. The milk of mothers treated by Oketani breast massage may improve the growth and development of infants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Caseins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lactation*
  • Massage*
  • Milk, Human / metabolism*


  • Caseins