Reverse pressure softening (RPS)

Reverse pressure softening (RPS)

In this post we talked about breast ingurgitation and how it can affect breastfeeding the first days of life of the baby or in case of mother-baby separation. In it we talked about the Reverse Pressure Softening (RPS), in this post we want to give you more information on how it is done.

What is the Reverse Pressure Softening (RPS)?

It is a type of massage that can help to decongest the area of the areola when it presents an inflammation produced by the retention of milk and liquids. The massage is done with the fingers and serves to facilitate both the latch on of the baby and prepare the areola for the subsequent extraction with the breast pump.

By applying a positive pressure on the area of the areola, it is possible to displace the accumulation of milk or liquids in the area that interfere with the release of milk and drainage of the gland.

In what cases can it be done?

It is usually done in the days after birth, when the milk let-down is complicated and an ingurgitation is formed that makes it difficult or prevents the milk from being drained easily by the baby.

In addition, the technique can be used whenever the breast is very congested: separation from the baby, return to work, weaning… and, in general, whenever we need the areola to be soft to allow an easy and painless milk extraction.

Does it hurt?

No, although the breast may feel full and very painful, the application of Reverse Pressure Softening is not painful and should not cause discomfort during application. You will only feel pressure on your breast as you compress your breast towards the ribs, but you should not feel any pain.

How long do I have to do it?

Usually it doesn’t take more than 2-3 minutes, before milk starts to flow through the nipple and we start to feel the areola softer.

Sometimes, if the breast is extremely congested, it may take about 10 minutes before the milk starts to flow.

Which is the best way to place my fingers?

You can choose the way that is most comfortable for you. The different techniques all work in the same way, you just have to choose the one you prefer or you find easier to do.

What do I do after the massages?

As soon as you see drops of milk coming out, it is important to make a quick change and place the baby or pump. If nothing is done after the reverse pressure massages it is likely that in a short time the breast will become congested again.

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