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Breastfeeding—the Thompson Method

A new method of breastfeeding, developed by an Australian breastfeeding consultant (Dr RobynThompson) is associated with less pain and nipple damage.

The Midwifery Research Unit is trialling this breastfeeding method in Mater Mothers’ Hospital and has introduced a breastfeeding education package for midwives and lactation consultants to become skilled in the Thompson method.

The Midwifery Research Unit will use nonidentified, routinely collected patient information
to see if this new approach has reduced complications and increased breastfeeding rates
at our hospital.

The Thompson Method

  • Cradle baby: comfortably in your arm, elbows relaxed by your side
  • First breast: roll baby onto the side to face your breast
  • Align baby: baby’s lips to mother’s nippleNewborn-Mother-resize-(1).jpg
  • Baby self‐locates: tongue protrudes; mouth opens to a natural width, draws in nipple and breast tissue
  • Face to breast symmetry             (4‐points): nose, chin and both cheeks contact the breast with no gaps
  • Fine tune nose and chin points: move baby slightly left or right to fine tune the nose and chin contact
  • Fine tune both cheek points: adjust baby’s body slightly over or under to ensure both cheeks contact
  • Stimulate hormones for milk flow: observe short intermittent stop‐start rhythm.
  • Swallow reflex: observe change to a long, deep rhythmical draw; baby will swallow as milk flows
  • Milk satisfaction: baby continues gentle nurturing (sucking) until stomach is full
  • Emotional satisfaction: vacuum gradually releases, baby will come off when emotionally satisfied
  • Rest and digest: as baby rests on her / his back, supported on your lap, arms and upper body stretches intermittently, the diaphragm lifts, air (wind) rises naturally
  • Nappy change: preferably during this rest and digest time, after the first breast
  • Second breast: patiently wait to observe baby’s cues requesting second breast
  • Cues: crawling‐walking reflex, smelling, touching, tasting, tongue protrudes, calling, crying
  • Begin second breast: repeat the same process until satisfied
  • Hold baby upright: nurtures and assists milk digestion until baby settles

For further information and instruction about how to breastfeed your baby, please watch this video:

This publication is also available in these languages:

Doctor Jyai Allen
Midwifery Research Unit
Mater Research Institute ‐ University Queensland
Phone: (07) 3163 6322

For more information on the Thompson breastfeeding method visit: www.the thompsonmethod.com

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-430198.
Last modified 19/1/2022.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 01/6/2018
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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