Breast massage is one of the best ways to ensure that you get adequate and rich milk supply for your little one. Many moms may not be aware of the benefits of breast massage during lactation; therefore this blog will throw crucial light on the subject.
Why Breast Massage Increases Milk Supply?
Breast massage clears the milk supply pores, which cause the milk to flow more freely. Blood circulation in breast also improves, therefore triggering higher and enriched milk production.
Even 15 minutes of massaging breast will produce immense health benefits.
Breasts are also an important body part that most women ignore due to the stigma of “touching yourself” associated with it. Breast massaging is not only for those women who are breastfeeding and wanting to increase milk supply.
Breast massaging can help you identify breast cancer as well as can help ease sore muscles. Since we hardly massage our breasts for stimulation, there are chances of fluid build-up resulting in several breast related problems.
“Performing breast massage for milk supply doesn’t require expertise. One can do it by their own. Since there is no risk involved you can massage as often as you like. However techniques do matter. Read on to know more about its benefits and massaging methods.
Benefits of Breast Massage
Here are 5 benefits of breast massage:
- Improved Lactation
There have been many research conducted on breastfeeding and breast massage. And most gave out positive results. One of the studies involved 30 women who massaged their breasts for 10 days after giving birth. As a result, they experienced less pain in breast feeding, increased milk production and less sodium content in milk.
Moreover, the babies found it easier to suckle more. Additionally, massaging breast also improved the quality of the milk, if performed in the first year after delivery.
Most benefits were reaped between the first day and 11 months post-delivery. The properties present in the milk that were activated during this phase included Solids, Lipids, Gross Energy and Casein Concentration. However, the only property that remained as it is, before and after, was lactose content.
Massaging improves easy sucking as well as clears the milk ducts. This combination encourages the milk to empty soon and stimulates more production of quality milk.
Other issues like engorgement, plugged pores and mastitis can be prevented by breast massaging.
- Early Diagnoses of Breast Cancer
Detecting breast cancer at an early stage may save your life. Breast massaging can help identify early stages of breast cancer through self- examination (courtesy: 2011 report by Journal of Women’s Health).
- Stimulated Lymphatic System
Massaging will stimulate your lymphatic system. Lymphatic system is responsible in removing built in waste fluids and toxics from body. These fluids are also referred as Lymphedema which usually forms due to lymph node surgery or breast cancer.
- Ease Muscle Tension
Sore breast muscles are a side effect of PMS, breast feeding and menopause. Breast muscles are also called as Pectorals. Exercises, sports and vigorous activities also strain these muscles.
Breast massaging can ease the tension built in the muscles and provide lasting relaxation.
- Improved Appearance
Breast massaging will also improve the shape of your breast by increasing the blood flow to the breast tissue. Sagging breast and stretch marks can be prevented with the help of massaging breast with olive oil. It also firms your breast and improves elasticity.
Breast Massage Method for Milk Supply
There is no steadfast rule for breast massage tostimulate lactation. Although, Hand Expression is quite useful to remove breast milk, instead of pumping or breast feeding. Hand expression is also good to empty milk and boost production of new milk.
Step 1: Slightly warm your hands. Place four fingers of one hand on top of one breast and four finger of the other hand under the breast. Now massage your breast in a circular motion. Make sure your focus remains on one breast at a time. Do for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Now move to the sides of the breast. Follow the same circular motion. You can also make a fist and gently roll or knead your breasts. Again, do this for 5 more minutes.
Step 3: Now, using your fingertips gently tap and massage all over your breast. Do this for 2 – 3 minutes.
Step 4: Hand Expression for extracting milk – Position your index finger and thumb on either side of your nipple. Bring your fingers together and gently add pressure to the nipple, until milk flows out. Squeeze rhythmically (at the rate of a heartbeat) for couple of minutes.