10 Benefits of Lactation Massage for Breastfeeding Moms

Lactation massage and its benefits is one thing they don’t often talk to you about until you start breastfeeding. However, I discovered that a woman learns more in the first two years of pregnancy and nursing – than in her entire lifetime.

Women are introduced to different types of massages for various purposes during our lifetime. Lactation massage is one you would get to pick up along the way and it’s helpful for many reasons.

In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about lactation massage and its benefits for breastfeeding moms. So let us get started – shall we?


What is Lactation Massage?

To put it straight, lactation massage is a breast massaging technique carried out to relax the muscles around the breasts and breast area.

This helps to ease the breast tissues, relieve pains nursing mothers experience around their breasts, and increase breast milk production.

Nursing mothers often experience severe pains in their breasts, and many sometimes experience low milk flow. Lactation massage helps breastfeeding mothers empty their breasts and ease the production and flow of breast milk.

It leads to an almost instant relief from discomfort and pain. More so, it can be an immediate solution to the stimulation of breast milk production.

So, this is a self-help massaging technique that every breastfeeding mother is expected to master. Yes, breastfeeding is a natural phenomenon in women, and our bodies were designed to adapt to pregnancy, childbearing, and breastfeeding naturally.

However, there are times when we need to have a basic knowledge of some techniques that offer relief.

As a first-time mother, you are bound to experience some challenges relating to breastfeeding. The challenges that come with having a baby suckle on your nipples for months can be overwhelming.

That is not to talk about the issues that can result from low or too much milk production, plugged milk ducks, pains, etc.

From this article, you will learn about lactation massage and the techniques involved in executing it – without the risks of harming yourself.

You will also learn about the numerous benefits of lactation massage – and some everyday breastfeeding issues you can solve with it.


Lactation Massage Technique

It is often said that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. One thing that can be denoted from this is that there is always a better way to get things done.

Lactation massage is a self-care service, meaning you must carry it out yourself. This is effective because you know the area where you experience discomfort. Thus, you are in the best position to apply the perfect amount of pressure and attention.

From experience, it is best to carry out lactation massage using both hands to carry out circular motions on the breasts. It is best to ensure that you cover the entire breast area.

Are you eager to know how best to perform lactation massage for breastfeeding? Well, look no further. We have listed a step-by-step approach for you to follow below!

Step By Step Lactation Massage Technique

From the name, lactation massage during breastfeeding may be mistaken as a complicated procedure. But this is far from the truth because it is extremely – and yes, I am speaking from experience.

Lactation massage is best carried out in the home, and we have outlined the step-by-step technique to follow. Check it out:

Step 1: Get the Area Warmed Up

Use a pre-heated towel to warm your hands, and then gently press onto the lymph glands around your breast area. This will help to improve blood circulation and stimulate the area in preparation for your massage.

Step 2: Lubricate Your Breast Area

Use natural oil like coconut or olive oil to lubricate the area – my personal favourite is olive oil. Apply the oil generously around your breasts until all the critical areas that would be massaged have been oiled.

Step 3: Connect to Your Inner Essence

This is one time you want to be as gentle as possible. It would be best if you did not press or push too hard while carrying out the massage. When you press too hard, you risk damaging your glandular tissue, which is responsible for milk production. The goal is to ease out the pains, not press out – or force out the pains.

Step 4: Apply Kneading Motion During the Massage

The best way to carry out lactation massaging during breastfeeding is to perform a circular kneading procedure on the breast. When I do this, I use fingertips to massage the specific areas. However, for those with long nails, it is advisable to use your fist or palm.

Step 5: Focus on the Areola

The areola is the pigmented area around the nipple, and as you already know, this is a highly sensitive area. Therefore, when carrying out a lactation massage, it is advisable to use your fingertips to massage the areola area.

This would help to release any excess breast milk gathering in that area and also ease any pains you might have.

Step 6: Be Attentive

As you carry out the lactation massage, ensure to pay attention to your body. Be attentive to the flow of the warmth around your breasts.

The warmth which you feel is evidence that your blood is circulating freely. Free blood circulation is essential, especially in the breast area.

Step 7: Choose a Suitable Place and Time

It is best to choose the perfect time and place before engaging in lactation massage. You do not want any disturbance or distractions at this tie.

Also, this is not the time that you want anyone walking up on you. I prefer carrying out the massage during baths, and I advise you to try this. If you are like me, then you will agree that women are often more relaxed in the bathroom.


Does Lactation Massage Help Increase Breast Milk?

To give a direct response to this question, the answer is yes. Lactation massage can increase breast milk production and flow. It is not an orthodox belief; this has been medically proven.

A 1994 study on breastfeeding moms revealed that lactation massage helps in emptying milk ducts and improves milk production. In addition to this, it helps in the treatment of breast tissue infection, pains, plugged milk ducts, and engorgements.

According to medical reports, lactation massage can increase breast milk production by as much as 48%. In fact, expecting mothers are often advised to begin massaging their breasts several weeks before the arrival of their baby.

This is because lactation massage is a proven method of increasing breast milk production and establishing a continuous supply.


How Often Should I Massage My Breast For Breastfeeding?

A breastfeeding mother can carry out full lactation massage occasionally – about weekly or monthly, but a regular massage should occur daily. As a breastfeeding mother, you should carry out lactation massage several times daily.

Medical experts advise nursing mothers to carry out gentle massages about 15 – 30 minutes before each breastfeeding session. This improves milk production and enables adequate breast milk availability for the baby’s consumption.


What are the Benefits of Breast Massage?

There are numerous benefits of breast or lactation massage. In this section, we discuss the various benefits of breastfeeding massage to both the mother and the baby. Below, we have highlighted ten benefits of lactation massage to breastfeeding moms and their newborns. Check them out!


10 Benefits of Lactation Massage for Breastfeeding Moms

1. It Improves Breast Milk Production in Breastfeeding Mothers

Lactation massage is proven to be an effective way of improving breast milk production in breastfeeding mothers. Studies prove that breast massages improve the production and output of breast milk by as much as 48%. As a result, experts nursing mothers carry out a simple breast massage before each breastfeeding session.

2. It Helps in the Early Detection of Breast Cancer

According to verified statistics, 1 out of every 39 women is highly likely to die of breast cancer. To date, the most effective step in breast cancer treatment remains early detection. Through location massage, 25 percent of women were able to detect breast cancer early.

Therefore, medical experts recommend that women make breast massages a daily routine to increase the chances of early detection of breast cancer.

3. Lactation massage Helps to Improve Breast Appearance

It is a proven fact that breast massage helps improve your breast’s appearance. As you know, it is advisable to carry out breast massages with natural oils like olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil.

These natural oils help to improve the firmness and elasticity of the breast. In turn, it significantly enhances the appearance of your breast.

4. It Increases Blood Circulation in the Breast

Breast massage is a proven way to improve blood circulation in and around the breast area. As you already know, it is essential to ensure that there is adequate blood flow around the breast.

Apart from ensuring that all the muscles and glands are kept active, good blood circulation helps to prevent breast lumps.

5. It Helps in the Reduction of Stretch Marks

A recent medical research has discovered that striae gravidarum — usually called stretch marks, can be prevented through breast massage with natural oils.

During the study, a set of women were asked to apply natural oil on their stretch marks, while the other set was asked to carry out breast massages with the oils. The set that performed breast massages with the oils had better results.

However, the oil on its own did not provide as much result as those who carried out a breast massage.

6. It Helps to Stimulate the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system covers the breast tissue from the breast area up to the armpit. Breast massage helps to keep the lymphatic system stimulated – which is good in helping to flush out toxins from the body.

According to studies, 1 in 15 people with breast cancer is due to lymphedema. Symptoms include swelling in the arm, breast, or chest. Usually, it results from surgery or radiation.

7. It Helps in the Treatment of Sore Muscles

Breast massage is effective in the treatment of sore muscles around the breast area. A woman may experience sore muscles due to breastfeeding or the presence of excess milk in the breast.

Lactation massage can help to expel excess milk and soothe sore areas of the breast. In addition, breast massage offers instant relief from sores and pains.

8. Lactation massage Helps to Ease Tension in the Chest Muscles

Breast massage helps to ease tension in your chest macules – which are also known as pectorals. A breast massage should be considered when you feel tension around your shoulders, chest, and back.

Experience has proven that breast massage relieves tension more than any other form of massage.

9. It Helps in the Release of Oxytocin

Lactation massage is essential in pregnant women because it helps in the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is also referred to as the feel-good hormone, which helps to enable many feel-good features.

One of the things it helps to do is that it makes the mother and baby feel good. In addition, it helps to create a strong connection between mother and baby.

It is also responsible for making the breast glands create contact and fill the milk ducts.

10. Lactation massage Helps to Prevent Clogged Milk Ducts

When a breastfeeding mother experiences clogged milk ducts, it means that the milk passage is blocked. As you know – or should, prevention is better than cure.

So, rather than looking for remedies to solve this challenge, you can actually prevent it through lactation massage. Clogged milk ducts are dangerous and can lead to mastitis.

So, it is best to prevent this, and one of the surest ways to do so is through lactation massage.