When a woman decides to breastfeed for the first time, she faces a lot of unfamiliar situations: rising of the milk, cracks in the nipple, poor latch on of the baby and possible engorgement of the breasts. What can be done to avoid reaching this circumstance? We teach you how to do a massage for stimulate the breast milk ducts and avoid possible mastitis.
Laura takes her baby to see the pediatrician and takes the opportunity to ask a question she has about breastfeeding. Since she started working she has had mild pain in her right breast, it feels hard and she feels like almost no milk comes out.
The pediatrician, who, by the way, is also a breastfeeding counselor, examines her and actually notices that her right breast is red and painful to touch, but Laura had not realized it. She was feeling some annoyance, but he hadn't stopped to see her breasts!
Laura's case is very common, what happened to her breasts? She feeds her 2-month-old exclusively breastfeeding and since she resumed her job she has not expressed milk frequently. Every day before leaving home she offers her baby the breast and when she returns at around 12 noon she puts her back on.
Laura went a long time without expressing milk naturally (with the baby's suction) or artificial (with a pump), which caused her breasts to become engorged, creating a hard, red, painful area with a palpable mass, that is, with the typical characteristics of a probable mastitis.
According to the report 'Mastitis. Update ', carried out by the Spanish Pediatric Association,' its incidence is around 10% (from 3% to 33%, depending on series) of lactating women.1-4 It usually occurs in the first three months, especially between the second and third week postpartum, 1,4,5,9,12 and recur between 4% and 8% .4
How to solve this problem? The massages before offering the baby breast and before extracting you are essential, because in this way the breast prepares itself to 'activate' the two hormones involved in the functioning of lactation.
A signal must be sent to the brain so that prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production, begins to work; and later oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, also starts its work, causing the milk to flow from your breasts.
This is achieved through various stimuli: seeing pictures of the baby, smelling it, looking at it, having nice thoughts about your baby, but it is also achieved with a good massage, so that those hormones are activated (especially oxytocin), because a good Massage stimulates the descent of the milk (ejection reflex) and helps to decongest the milk collected in the clogged ducts.
If Laura has also happened to you or you think something similar could happen to you, I invite you to continue reading because I am going to explain how to massage to stimulate breast milk ducts:
1. Wash your hands beforehand with soap and water. It is not necessary to wash your breasts, just your daily bath in the shower is enough.
2. Place both palms of your hand vertically (parallel) on the chest (with the areola in the middle) and make gentle movements up and down, in opposite direction both hands, (one hand up and one down, in unison).
3. With your fingertips, use circular movements, pressing firmly and gently against the chest wall, without sliding your fingers over the skin. These movements should be in the form of a spiral, in a clockwise direction and around the entire breast, without forgetting to massage the entire surface, upper and lower part, and both sides, from the outside towards the nipple.
4. Stroke the chest with the tips of your fingers from the outside towards the areola (as if you were tickling).
5. To finish, shake both breasts forward and down.
Before expressing breast milk, either at work or at home, you should perform these massages because this helps a lot so that the milk begins to flow; they are also effective in the case of engorgement or engorgement, if we want to trigger the ejection reflex (milk leakage) and / or to initiate relactation, among other situations.
Do you want to know what happened to Laura in the end? He applied the massages and improved a lot. The pain disappeared and the reddened area was gone, it evolved super well! At work, before expressing milk, she continued to massage, managed to express more, and her breasts worked very well. You can't imagine the relief he felt!
You can read more articles similar to How to do a massage to stimulate the breast milk ducts, in the category of On-site Breastfeeding.