Acupuncture improves lactation

Objective: To perform a literature review aimed to analyze if acupoint stimulation increases lactation quantity.

Method: Studies were collected from five electronic databases following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines for systematic reviews. Eligibility criteria were full-text articles in English or Spanish with clinical trial design and observational studies, with no restriction on time of publication, in which the effect of acupoint stimulation on improving the quantity of lactation by conventional acupuncture, electroacupuncture, laser, fire needling, manual stimulation, tuina or catgut had been evaluated.

Two authors independently extracted data for the characteristics and main outcomes of the studies selected for inclusion. The risk of bias (RoB 2 and Robins-I) and the quality assessments (GRADE) were performed. For the quantitative synthesis, the standardized mean difference was calculated for each individual study selected and then the data were combined using a random-effects meta-analysis.

Results: A total of 14 studies were included in the present review. Most of the included studies exhibited some concerns in the risk of bias assessment. The quality of the studies was moderate. The meta-analysis showed that manual acupoint stimulation improves the lactation quantity (SMD 95% CI = 1.63 [1.13-2.13]; p < 0.0001).

Conclusion: The literature suggests that manual stimulation of acupuncture points improves the amount of milk produced during lactation.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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