The sole purpose of breast compression is to continue
the flow of milk to the baby once the baby no longer
drinks on his own. Compression will also stimulate
a let down reflex and often causes a natural let
down reflex to occur. This technique may also be
useful for the following:
1. Poor weight gain in the baby.
2. Colic in the breast fed baby.
3. Frequent feedings or long feedings.
4. Sore nipples for the mother.
5. Recurrent blocked ducts
6. Feeding the baby who falls asleep quick.
If everything is going well, breast compression may
not be necessary. When all is well, the mother should
allow the baby to finish feeding on the first side,
then if the baby wants more - offer the other side.
How to use breast compression
1. Hold the baby with one arm.
2. Hold the breast with the other arm, thumb
on one side of your breast, your finger on the other
far back from the nipple
3. Keep an eye out for the baby's drinking,
although there is no need to be obsessive about
catching every suck. The baby will get more milk when
drinking with an open pause type of suck.
4. When the baby is nibbling or no longer
drinking, compress the breast, not so hard that it
hurts though. With the breast compression, the baby
should begin drinking again.
5. Keep up the pressure until the baby no
longer drinks with the compression, then release the
pressure. If the baby doesn't stop sucking with the
release of compression, wait a bit before compressing
6. The reason for releasing pressure is to
allow your hand to rest, and allow the milk to begin
flowing to the baby again. If the baby stops sucking
when you release the pressure, he'll start again
once he tastes milk.
7. When the baby starts to suck again, he
may drink. If not, simply compress again.
8. Continue feeding on the first side until
the baby no longer drinks with compression. You
should allow him time to stay on that side until he
starts drinking again, on his own.
9. If the baby is no longer drinking, allow
to come off the breast or take him off.
10. If the baby still wants more, offer the
other side and repeat the process as above.
11. Unless you have sore nipples, you may
want to switch sides like this several times.
12. Always work to improve the baby's latch.