Purpose: In this study the effects of breast massage on breast pain, breast-milk sodium, and newborn suckling in early postpartum mothers were investigated.
Methods: The design was a non-synchronized nonequivalent control group pretest-posttest design. Sixty postpartum mothers who were admitted to a postpartum care center and had problems with breastfeeding were recruited. Of these mothers, 44 were assigned to the intervention group and received two 30-minute breast massages within 10 days of postpartum period. The others were assigned control group and received only routine care. Breast pain was measured using a numeric pain scale and number of times newborns suckled was observed throughout breastfeeding. Breast milk was self-collected to evaluate breast-milk sodium.
Results: Mean age of postpartum mothers was 30 years old. Compared to the control group, women in the intervention group reported significant decreases in breast pain (p<.001), increases in number of times newborns suckled after the first and second massage (p<.001), and a decrease in breast-milk sodium after the first massage (p=.034).
Conclusion: Breast massage may have effects on relieving breast pain, decreasing breast-milk sodium, and improving newborn suckling. Breast massage can be used to solve breast problems. Further research is needed to validate our findings.