Breast Compressions

Breast compression can help if:

  • Your baby has low weight gain
  • Your baby feeds for a long time or very frequently
  • You suffer from recurrent blocked ducts and/or mastitis
  • Your baby falls asleep quickly and comes off the breast hungry
  • Your baby is premature and has trouble drinking enough milk

What is breast compression?

Breast Compression refers to the method of applying pressure to the breast to help continue or increase the flow of milk to the baby once the baby is no longer drinking at the breast.

How do I do breast compression?

  • Latch your baby to your breast comfortably.
  • Use one of your hands to hold your breast; place your hand around your breast close to the chest wall with thumb and fingers on opposite sides.
  • When you no longer see or hear swallowing and your baby is not actively drinking, compress your breast bringing your thumb and fingers closer together; do not roll down toward the nipple; you want to put pressure on the breast behind the milk ducts.
  • Keep up the pressure until the baby no longer drinks/swallows even with the compression; release the pressure every 5-10 seconds.
  • The baby may stop sucking when you release the pressure but should start again once she tastes milk.
  • Use compressions until the baby no longer drinks/swallows even with compressions.
  • Switch to the other side and use compressions again if necessary to help increase the amount of milk the baby drinks.