Breast compressions: how to help your baby to get more milk out of the breast
When a baby doesn’t drink enough milk and doesn’t gain enough weight, or has difficulties to make efficient sucking motions, this forces her to feed without rest to get the amount of milk she needs. Here is how you can help her with this simple breast compression technique.
This method is very simple and allows you as a breastfeeding mother to optimize feeds and shorten the time your baby is at your breast, while your baby can receive more milk faster. By performing this method, we get your baby to drink more milk and shorten her feeding times.
How to do this?
Here we are going to explain how to do these mammary compressions step by step (you can enlarge the images to see better how it works):
– Place the baby to feed as normal and let her continue until she stops. Once she stops or starts to drink more slowly, we can start compressions.
– Place your hand in a C* shape and compress your breast. This action should cause the baby to reactivate sucking or suck more actively. When it stops again, perform compression again, until your baby stops reacting to the compression.
– Once you have finished with one breast observe your baby. If she is asleep and has fed effectively, the feeding can be considered finished. If the baby is still awake and restless, you can offer your other breast and repeat the same.
– Look for another compression point on your breast and repeat the three previous steps.
* The simplest way to do this is to imagine that you hold a four tier sandwich between your two hands and you have to squeeze it to eat it. The movement you make with the sandwich is the gesture you need to apply to your breast.
Who is this method for?
Breast compressions are recommended for babies with little weight, who get easily tired when feeding, babies with sucking motion difficulties or in case of the mother experiencing pain and wants to speed up the feeding process in order shorten the time of pain, but ensuring that the baby drinks enough milk. This simple method will also benefit mothers who have or think they have a low milk supply.
For how long do I need to apply breast compressions?
If it is necessary to perform breast compressions, it is usually a temporary measure that helps us overcome a phase, either because the mother may feel pain or because the baby has difficulty gaining weight.