Breast Compressions are an easy and effective way to get more milk out of your breasts. You don’t need any tools and there is no special technique involved either.
Breast compression is most often used to get a baby, who is falling asleep at the breast, to continue breastfeeding.
Milk production works strictly on a supply-demand basis. If all your milk is effectively sucked from your breasts, this is a signal to your body to continue producing more. If milk is left behind in your breasts because your baby fell asleep while nursing, that signals your body that not all the milk it had previously produced, was used. Therefore, it will reduce its production and this can lead to low milk supply.
This is why breast compression is an easy and effective way to maintain your milk supply.
Step By Step Guide On How To Do Breast Compressions
- Start breast compression when you notice your baby is falling asleep while breastfeeding. Cup your breast with your thumb on top, and squeeze and compress. By putting gentle pressure on your milk glands, you will increase the flow of your milk.
- Continue to squeeze gently and release. Repeat this cycle as needed. Your baby will continue sucking as your milk starts to flow stronger.
- If necessary, you can change your breastfeeding position before continuing your breast compressions. Some positions that make breast compressions easier are the cradle hold, the cross-cradle hold, and the football hold.
This helpful video illustrates how easy breast compressions are, and how effective it is in getting your baby to continue sucking.
The Benefits of Breast Compressions
According to the International Breastfeeding Center, you can experience the following benefits:
- Breast compression is an effective technique to help increase your milk supply; The more you compress, the more milk you release. The more milk effectively sucked from your breasts, the more will be produced. (Supply-demand);
- Breast compression encourages your baby to nurse longer. Babies who fall asleep at the breast may not have had enough milk to drink. This can result in them sleeping less before they wake up hungry again. Breast compression helps to fill their tummies and get them to sleep longer;
- The more your baby drinks in one feeding, the fewer feedings he/she will eventually have;
- Underweight babies are able to gain weight easily by simply drinking more milk;
- Recurrent mastitis and/or blocked ducts can be reduced or prevented.
- Breast compression reduces the chances that your baby uses you as a pacifier. If your milk flows strong, your baby will drink the milk, instead of sucking for comfort.
Feature Image Credit: Healthy Parent Healthy Children