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Open Access Does Kinesio Elastic Therapeutic Taping Decrease Breast Engorgement in Postpartum Women?

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Breast engorgement is a common problem in the early postpartum period. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Kinesio Elastic Therapeutic TapingĀ® (K-ETT), used to increase lymphatic drainage or decrease fluid in congested areas, in treating breast engorgement in postpartum women. Thirty-four healthy mothers who delivered healthy babies over a 4-week period in a large community hospital participated, with one breast taped and the other remaining untaped. Two subjective measures, self-reported pain and self-rated engorgement, and one objective measure, firmness by durometer measured by the researchers, were taken at baseline and throughout the study period. Engorgement was defined as exceeding a threshold in at least two of the three measures. Overall, 65% of mothers experienced engorgement. There was no difference in the incidence of engorgement, comparing the taped to the untaped breast by paired analysis. Future work in this area should include development and testing of valid and reliable measures of engorgement, followed by testing of interventions using a rigorous protocol to provide evidence for practice change.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2014

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