Last update Nov. 29, 2022
Very Low Risk
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Stimulation of acupuncture points of traditional Chinese medicine is also known as
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In traditional Chinese medicine there are several practices that stimulate certain key points of the body (acupoints) in order to cause changes in the physical functions of the body.
Acupoint Stimulation Methods:
They are mainly used to relieve pain associated with different diseases or situations. In breastfeeding they are used to increase milk production, treat hypergalactia, breast engorgement, pain or mastitis.
No side effects have been reported in infants of mothers who follow these procedures.
Better onset, longer duration and increased production of breast milk have been published, most times in the immediate postpartum and/or after caesarean section, with acupuncture, (Pierdant 2022, Hajian 2021, Fan 2020, Neri 2011, He 2008, Wang 2007, Zhao 2006), acupressure (Rosetti 2022, Hajian 2021, Esfahani 2015), electroacupuncture (Maged 2020, Wei 2008), auriculotherapy (Chen 2017, Yu 2012, Zhou 2009), Tui Na (Lu 2019, Zhu 2018, Zheng 2012, Lu 2010) or moxibustion. (Fan 2020)
Acupuncture can cause galactorrhea. (Campbell 2005, Jenner 2002)
Acupuncture (Hajian 2021), acupressure (Farshidfar 2020) or massage (Farshidfar 2020) improved postpartum breast stasis or engorgement, but no evidence of efficacy of acupuncture, acupressure or massage has been found in systematic reviews. (Zakarija 2020, Mangesi 2016 and 2010)
Acupuncture did not improve the anxiety of preterm nursing mothers or the initial frequency of breastfeeding. (Haddad 2013)
Acupuncture to treat sciatic pain did not produce changes in milk production. (He 2018)
There is a lack of good evidence on the effectiveness and safety of auriculotherapy in breastfeeding, due to the low methodological quality of the included studies and the heterogeneity between the trials. (Boram 2020)
In many countries acupuncture is widely used for many indications in maternity units despite weak or no evidence to support its effectiveness. (Mårtensson 2011)
The quality of evidence for the efficacy of these procedures is very low. Large-scale, well-designed studies in the form of randomized controlled trials are needed to support current treatment recommendations.