Breast massage and improving the yield of breast milk
Breast massage promotes the blood circulation in the breasts - as well as the flow of milk - and has a positive influence on milk production. This massage should be briefly performed before any breastfeeding session, particularly in the first days and weeks after your baby’s birth to prevent engorgement. It is especially useful for the prevention of breast inflammation. Breast massage should be carried out gently and should never be painful. Hands should be washed thoroughly before any massage.
- Place your breast between your hands (Pict.1), which should be held horizontally, and move the gland tissue back and forward - as shown in the picture. Afterwards you repeat the same procedure by placing your breast between your hands held vertically (Pict.2).
- One hand supports the breast. Place three to four fingertips of your other hand flat on the breast and massage the gland tissue with circular movements. The fingertips are shifted 2-3 cm every now and then and the procedure is repeated until you have massaged the entire breast (Pict.3).
- Use your fingers to gently caress the breast from the base of the areola to the nipple. Through this movement, you can bring the milk to flow (Pict.4).
- Try to gently squeeze out a drop of milk by placing the thumb and the finger (as shown in Pict.5 below) behind the areola and pressing slightly in direction of the chest. Then, by applying gentle pressure, move your thumb and finger towards the nipple without rubbing the skin. You can wet your nipple with the resulting drop of breast milk and encourage your baby to suck the breast.
- The rhythmical repetition of Pict.5 around the areola can relax a tense breast or even empty it. Alternatively, you can express the breast milk using a gently-functioning breast pump (Ardo Calypso).