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August 16, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(7):379. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480330033009

The use of properly applied massage in the treatment of painful congestion of the breasts at the beginning of lactation is most valuable, but there appears to be much misunderstanding regarding the way in which it should be employed. Bacon1 has pointed out the errors in the directions given in most text-books. It is usually said that the breast should be massaged by rubbing from the circumference toward the nipple, the evident purpose of such efforts being the removal of milk from the breast. Painful breasts at the beginning of lactation usually contain very little milk, and the pain and tension are not due to retained secretion, as is popularly supposed, but to a temporary overfilling of the blood and lymph vessels. The effect of massage should be to cause an emptying of the vessels and so to relieve the tension and resulting pain. Bacon, after considering the arrangement of