The Thompson Method -

  • Kildea, Sue (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)
  • Gao, Yu (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)

    Project: Research

    Project Details


    The Challenge
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding (i.e. no other food or fluids) in the first six months of life; and continued breastfeeding into the second year. Australian breastfeeding rates fall significantly in the months following birth. The Australian National Infant Feeding Survey (n = 28,759) reported that while 96% of women initiate breastfeeding, only 15% of babies exclusively breastfeed to 5-months.
    Women’s reasons for not continuing breastfeeding included perception of not having enough breast milk (56%), an unsettled baby (25%), difficultly with attaching the baby to the breast (25%) or breastfeeding was too painful (18%). Pain impacts significantly on women’s ability to breastfeed in the early postnatal days and weeks with reports that it effects a significant proportion of breastfeeding women (34%-96%).
    What we are doing
    Dr Thompsons research has shown that current techniques currently being taught in most hospitals are closely linked to nipple pain and trauma. The way women are being taught to hold the baby (the cross-cradle hold) interferes with the baby’s intra-oral function by restricting anatomical movement of the cranio-cervical spine and nuchal ligament, which contributed to ineffective and painful drawing of the nipple and breast into the baby’s mouth.
    The Thompson Method is a gentle, evidence based approach to breastfeeding now being tested at the Mater Mothers' Hospital (Brisbane Australia) in a large implementation study. The aim is to improve breastfeeding outcomes for mothers and babies. Changing the way women hold their babies to cradle hold and the way they are positioned at the breast so that the four points (chin, nose and 2 cheeks) are all in alignment. The research team will provided in-service education, train the trainer, educational packages and were regularly available to assist on the postnatal wards. The Mater Lactation Consultant team were all Thompson trained.
    How it helps
    The study will evaluate the impact of an educational breastfeeding learning package for mothers and midwives on breastfeeding rates of well mother-baby pairs at three time points: discharge from the public postnatal ward and three and six-months after birth.
    Effective start/end date27/03/2031/12/21


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