Nov 27, 2008
The purpose of breast compression is to continue the flow of milk to the baby once the baby no longer drinks (open - pause - close type of suck) on his own. Can also be done during pumping sessions.
Breast compression simulates a letdown reflex and often stimulates a natural letdown reflex to occur.
Breast Compression- How to do it:
1. Hold the baby with one arm.
2. Hold the breast with the other, thumb on one side of the breast, your other fingers on the other, fairly far back from the nipple.
3. Watch for the baby's drinking, though there is no need to be obsessive about catching every suck. The baby gets substantial amounts of milk when he is drinking with an open - pause - close type of suck. (open - pause - close is one suck, the pause is not a pause between sucks).
4. When the baby is nibbling or no longer drinking with the open - pause - close type of suck, compress the breast. Not so hard that it hurts and try not to change the shape of the areola (the part of the breast near the baby's mouth). With the compression, the baby should start drinking again with the open - pause - close type of suck.
5. Keep the pressure up until the baby no longer drinks even with the compression, then release the pressure. Often the baby will stop sucking altogether when the pressure is released, but will start again shortly as milk starts to flow again. If the baby does not stop sucking with the release of pressure, wait a short time before compressing again.
6. The reason to release the pressure is to allow your hand to rest, and to allow milk to start flowing to the baby again. The baby, if he stops sucking when you release the pressure, will start again when he starts to taste milk.
7. When the baby starts sucking again, he may drink (open - pause - close). If not, compress again as above.
8. Continue on the first side until the baby does not drink even with the compression. You should allow the baby to stay on the side for a short time longer, as you may occasionally get another letdown reflex and the baby will start drinking again, on his own. If the baby no longer drinks, however, allow him to come off or take him off the breast.
Ahhh..at least now i know what i did before this that may have contribute to the low production and bad letdown during nursing & expressing..
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