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Breast compressions

Breast compressions: a way to get your milk flowing, pump more and increase your supply

Helping let-down

Breast compressions are a way of helping your baby to get a stronger flow of milk by gently squeezing and compressing your breast.

Breast compressions can keep your baby actively sucking so they can remove more milk from your breasts. This helps to increase your milk supply

Breast compressions are also a useful way to get more milk when you are expressing

When do I use breast compressions?

  • Usually, when a baby has had enough, they will come off the breast on their own. However, if your baby stays at the breast for a long time without any active sucking (especially if the feed has been going for more than 30 minutes), you can use breast compressions.  

  • If your baby appears to be sucking shallowly and not really drinking, breast compressions can help your baby to start sucking more deeply again. 

  • Breast compressions can help you get a more effective let-down or another let-down.

  • If your baby likes to come off the breast or bite because the milk flow has slowed, compressions can help start the flow again. 

  • If you are trying to increase your milk supply and/or using a supply line, compressions will help your baby remove more milk from your breast. 

  • If you are expressing, you can use breast compressions to encourage more milk to flow.

Will it cause any breast problems?

You might worry that pressing on your breast will cause it to become sore or affect the milk flow. However, if you are gentle with the pressure and don't press into your breast constantly throughout the feed, it won't cause problems.

Always handle your breasts with care to help prevent localised breast inflammation and mastitis.

In this video from the International Breastfeeding Centre, the mother is being guided to use breast compressions to increase her milk flow. 

© Australian Breastfeeding Association January 2023