The following new research study (January 2021) has documented the effects Reflexology has on breastfeeding after caesarean section.
The Effect of Reflexology on Lactation in Women Who Had Cesarean Section: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study
Aim: The research was conducted as a randomized controlled pilot study to evaluate the effects of reflexology on lactation in mothers who delivered by cesarean section (CS).
Methods: A single-blind randomized controlled experimental study was conducted with a total of 60 postpartum women in the reflexology application (n = 30) and control groups (n = 30). After the CS, the mothers in the control group were given approximately 3-h routine nursing care after recovering from the effects of anesthesia; the introductory information form was applied, and the Breastfeeding Charting System and Documentation Tool (LATCH) and visual analog scale (VAS) for the signs of the onset of lactation were implemented on the first and second days. Reflexology was applied to the women in the intervention group after an average of 3 h following the mother’s condition had become stable and she had recovered from the effects of anesthesia. Reflexology was applied a total of 20 min – 10 min for the right foot, 10 min for the left foot – twice a day with 8-h intervals on the first and second days after CS. After the last reflexology application, the LATCH and VAS for the signs of the onset of lactation were applied.
Results: Of the women, 70% breastfed their babies within 60 min after delivery; 46.7% of the mothers received breastfeeding training and 81.7% needed support for breastfeeding after the CS. The LATCH breastfeeding scores of the women in the intervention group on both days were significantly higher compared to those of the women in the control group (p < 0.001). On the first day after the CS, apart from breast pain, there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of breast heat and breast tension (p > 0.05). On the second day after the CS, apart from breast tension, there was no significant difference between the groups in terms of breast heat and breast pain (p < 0.05). In the study, women in the intervention group were found to have higher scores in terms of all three symptoms compared to the control group (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: In the study, it was determined that LATCH scores and signs of the onset of breastfeeding increased in the mothers who received reflexology after CS.