May 23, 2017 By Jack Newman
We use a number of ways to help mothers and babies breastfeed better when they come to our clinic. One group of babies we see frequently are babies who cry or fuss, are not satisfied after breastfeeding, who need to start drinking more milk or who are already being supplemented.
There are many steps we go through when we see a mother and baby at our clinic – one of them is to show mothers how to use, what I call, breast compressions.
Mother compressing her breast with her left hand to increase milk flow to the baby
I learnt about breast compressions when I was working in Africa. I watched mothers compress or squeeze their breasts. They did this almost automatically, but I never really understood why. Early on, when the clinic was still in its early stages, a woman from Chile came for advice. She was doing breast compressions. And so, I asked her why she was doing this. She said “Because my mother said I should”. I responded that this was a good thing, but why? And she looked at me as if she was wondering why she came to me for help, and said “Because the baby gets more milk…”. I truly felt that she left unsaid, “…stupid!” And truly the penny did drop and I realized what all those African mothers were doing. And we have used it successfully at the clinic ever since. It is not the only method that we use to increase the intake of milk by the baby, but it is a simple one and one that is very easy to use.
我是在非洲工作的時候瞭解到擠壓乳房的。我看到母親們按壓或擠壓她們的乳房。她們幾乎很自然的都會這樣做，但我從來沒有真正理解為什麼要這樣做。在早期，我的診所還處於初期階段，有一位來自智利的婦女前來諮詢。她餵奶時擠壓乳房。我問她為什麼這樣做。她說：「因為我媽媽告訴我應該這樣做。」我回應她說，這是一個好方法，但是為什麼呢？她看著我，好像在想為什麼她要來找我幫忙，然後說：「因為寶寶能得到更多的奶... ...」 其實我覺得她有一句話沒有說出口：「真笨！」原來如此！我這才真正弄懂了那些非洲母親們都在做的事情。此後，我們就在診所裡使用了這種方法，很成功。 這雖然不是我們用來增加寶寶乳汁攝入量的唯一方法，但確實非常簡單易用。
Compression of the breast is an easy and effective method of getting more breastmilk to the baby when the baby is latched on to the breast. A baby may be on the breast, but not necessarily drinking milk. A baby latched on, and making sucking movements, does not mean the baby is getting milk. Watch this video of a mother of a two day old baby doing breast compressions.