How To Help Your Baby Get More Breast Milk
Breast compression is a technique a mother can use to help her baby take in more breast milk. Gentle squeezing of the breast mimics milk letdown, encouraging baby to suck.
It is not necessary to do breast compression when baby is actively drinking at the breast. When baby tires or begins to have a munchy type of suck, try this technique. Babies will often begin to drink again, thereby receiving more milk.
When is breast compression helpful?
Breast compression is not necessary for every baby but it can be helpful if:
- baby is a sleepy feeder.
- baby has very long feeds.
- baby is not gaining enough weight.
- baby has difficulty removing milk from the breast.
- baby is jaundiced.
- baby is premature or has low muscle tone.
How to do breast compression:
1. Use your hand to cup the breast, as close to the chest wall as possible (fingers well away from the nipple).
2. With your thumb on one side and your fingers on the other, gently squeeze the breast and hold. This should cause baby to begin drinking again.
3. When baby no longer sucks, release the pressure of your hand.
4. Repeat until your baby will no longer drink even with breast compression.
Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.