Difficulties in breastfeeding: Easy solution by Oketani breast massage


  • S. K. Roy Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation (BBF), Dhaka, Bangladesh https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7750-9831
  • Saria Tasnim Institute of Child and Mother Health (ICMH), Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Ms. Khurshid Jahan Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation (BBF), Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Summyia Nazmeen Centre for women and Child Health, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Sumon Chandra Debnath Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation (BBF), Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • A.B.M Muzharul Islam Institute of Public Health Nutrition, Dhaka, Bangladesh.




Breastfeeding, Oketani breast massage, Lactational problem, Mastitis


Background: Breastfeeding is universally recommended feeding method for promoting child survival. Many mothers in developing countries do not practice optimum breastfeeding due to difficulties in the breast that may lead to temporary or permanent cessation of breastfeeding. Oketani breast massage approach is one such technique to overcome those difficulties for successful lactation to promote child growth.   The aim of this study was to assess the difficulties in breastfeeding and mother’s expression on benefits of Oketani breast massage.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted at lactational management center (LMC) in the Institute of Child Mother Health (ICMH), Dhaka, Bangladesh during March to August 2015. A total of 98 mothers (having 0-12 month’s old children) who had breast problems or difficulty in breastfeeding were included in the study. The mothers agreed to undertake Oketani massage. This is a breast massage that promotes breast milk production and helps the lactating mothers to overcome certain difficulties in the breast. Mothers who received Oketani massage were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire.

Results: Ninety-eight mothers were interviewed for this study. About two-thirds (66.3%) of babies were girls of which 57.1% were less than 2 months.  More than two-thirds (78.6%) mother ages were more than 25 years. Half of the mothers completed secondary school certificate (SSC) in which non-working (63.3%) mothers were more than working mother (36.7%). The proportion of exclusive breastfeeding practice was 50.0%. Most common difficulties included breast engorgement (22.4%), followed by sore nipple (17.3%) and insufficient milk (14.3%). After receiving Oketani massage mother’s perception of getting confidence improved to 80.6%. About 69% said that the baby can be fed well, 61.2% felt that there was increase in breast milk production and 56.1% mothers expressed feeling good after the massage. Study findings revealed that Breast feeding significantly improved with the Oketani breast massage (p=0.001).

Conclusion: Oketani massage is considered as a useful technique to build confidence and improved milk secretion among mothers facing difficulty during lactation. A multicentre study with detailed assessment of quality, the quantity of breastmilk as well as baby’s growth and nutritional assessment is recommended.


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How to Cite

Roy, S. K., Tasnim, S., Jahan, M. K., Nazmeen, S., Debnath, S. C., & Islam, A. M. (2019). Difficulties in breastfeeding: Easy solution by Oketani breast massage. Bangladesh Medical Research Council Bulletin, 45(3), 149–154. https://doi.org/10.3329/bmrcb.v45i3.44644



Research Papers