Breast massage while pumping — The Bump
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Breast massage while pumping

I've read on here to try breast massage while pumping to help loosen up the fat stuck in the milk ducts, but I'm trying to figure out how to actually do this while pumping. I wear a pumping bra and use a double electric pump, so I'm having trouble massaging under the bra without disturbing the contact between the flange and my breast and reducing suction. Are there any tricks to this?

I have a definite stud and dud, and I've noticed that my dud produces significantly more watery milk compared to my stud, regardless of which side DD ate off of last. I usually combine the milk from both sides into one bottle, but was wondering if I should be trying to increase the fat content from the one side. I battled an oversupply and foremilk/hindmilk imbalance early on, so I'm always concerned of DD getting too much foremilk and having it make her sick again. TIA!
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Re: Breast massage while pumping

  • Can you massage over the bra? I think its the compression that matters.
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  • like PP said, try massaging over the bra-- cup the breast you're massing with one hand to try to keep the suction going, and then massage with the other hand.

    you could also try taking lecithin supplements, those are supposed to make the fat globules in milk less sticky. or, you could try putting one of those microwavable heating pads (with the rice or grains inside them- the name escapes me) on your breasts before pumping to help loosen things up.

    are your pumping sessions long enough to ensure you're emptying your breasts and getting to the hindmilk? like if you're doing 10 minutes, maybe do 15 or 20?
  • Thanks for the tips ladies! I had been trying to slide my hands under it, not sure why I didn't think about doing it over the bra.

    @vvvvfee This is something I've struggled with. I can pump for longer but on some days I'm pumping so much milk (up to 10 oz per session when DD drinks 3 oz bottles). I pump 12-15 minutes until the milk flow slows down. I'm worried about pumping too long and perpetuating the oversupply issues, vs not pumping long enough and getting too much foremilk. Should I just be pumping one side? I only got 4oz from my morning pump today so I don't even know if I should still be worried about oversupply. Everyday is so different; I'm probably overthinking this!
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  • if you're getting way more milk than you need, maybe you want to cut back to less sessions per day, but make sure they're at least 15 minutes if you're concerned about not getting hindmilk. although, if your LO is older you probably don't need to worry as much about creating an oversupply.


  • @vvvvfee
    My LO is 5 months old (I could never get my ticker to work, definitely not 9 weeks pregnant). She currently eats 6-7 x per day: nurses once in the morning when she wakes up, gets a bottle at daycare, nurses for lunch, gets second bottle at daycare, then nurses when I pick her up and again before bed, +/- 1 MOTN feeding. I pump twice at work, corresponding with her 2 bottles. 

    Since she just gets 2 bottles/day with me nursing in between, I don't know if I could skip a pump session without getting engorged. Maybe the afternoon pump? She only eats one side per feeding, so the side she doesn't eat off of in the morning is always a little full by the time I get to my morning pump (if she skips her MOTN feeding she will eat at 7pm and that side won't be pumped until 9am the next day). Would it be better to drop a pumping session or just pump one side at a time?
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  • how much is your LO taking in each bottle and how many ounces are you pumping at each of the 2 sessions? do you have a crazy amount of excess? you said inititally you were worried about oversupply, but how much surplus do you have with the 2 sessions per day?
  • @vvvvfee
    She takes 3oz per bottle, so 6oz/day. I generally pump 10-12oz/day, with the bulk of that coming from my morning pump. 
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  • honestly, i would just freeze the excess for now. i agree that you can't really skip one of the two pumps without getting engorged. and if you're concerned about not getting hindmilk, then you probably don't want to cut the sessions shorter, either. i'm sure a LC would have more detailed advice for you, though.

    once you start your LO on some solids, you might see a drop in your supply (i did), so you might be glad to have the extra milk. or you could consider donating some of it.
  • @vvvvfee

    Thank you so much for the feedback! That was basically what I was thinking; I know a lot of people have a drop in supply around 6 months so I would hate to actively lower my supply now and end up with an undersupply then. I'm already looking into donating (DD diagnosed with MSPI after I'd been pumping for ~ 3 weeks so I will likely be donating that milk) so if need be I can just donate more.

    Thanks!
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