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Thread: Breast compression tips?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Breast compression tips?


    My one week old and I are currently facing a ton of challenges... and I'm really in need of some tips performing breast compression. I'm not thrilled with the hole I'm in and I'm hoping that breast compression will help me to begin the long haul process of getting us on track. I'm desprate to not give up on breastfeeding.

    Current status
    • We're feeding about 10 times per day
    • We are getting around 5 wet and 5 dirty diapers each day

    Here's a quick run down of our challenges:
    • I rec'd poor BF support in the hospital and now the little one will only nurse now with a nipple shield.
    • Little one is putting on weight slowly. Only 1.5oz of gain this week.
    • Little one is on a bili-blanket as she has infant jaundice (not pathological jaundice) and this makes positioning her difficult.
    • Little one is VERY drowsy from the jaundice and often falls asleep at the breast before she's done eating -- stressful to me b/c she's not putting on the weight.

    I am confused and stressed out over how she can be going thru the proper number of diapers/day and still not be putting on weight. The LLL book "The Womanly Art..." suggested breast compression might be helpful for 1) slow weight gain, 2) sleepy baby, and 3) jaundice. I'm dealing with all three.

    But, I'm not sure when I compress the breast if it's doing anything, and I don't know if the nipple shields are negating the effects at all. Is it even worth it?

    Any help would be insanely appreciated! I'm so stressed I can barely think straight!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Breast compression tips?

    you should call a local leader! They would be able to help beter than we can on-line.
    Maybe try and feed the baby more often that way they would be getting more milk and then more weight gain.
    Are you both home from the hospital? Can you just stay in bed and nurse the baby for a few days?
    some babies it takes up to two weeks for them to regain thier birth weight.
    heres a web site with something about breastcompressions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Breast compression tips?

    Also make sure that your baby is latching on properly so she/he can get the most milk out of the feeding. This has been one of my problems breastfeeding. If they don't latch on properly the first time, reposition them. HTH.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Breast compression tips?

    Hi Crystleyz,

    Congrats on your new baby, and I'm glad you posted your questions here. Those early days with a new baby can be truly overwhelming, but if you know where and how to ask for help, just about any breastfeeding problem can be overcome with good information and support.

    Breast compressions can be a good way to get a sleepy baby to keep nursing a little longer, and it can get a bit more milk into her tummy at each feeding, which will help with the jaundice and slow weight gain.

    The basic idea behind a breast compression is to hold your breast with your hand shaped like a "C," and just slowly squeeze (firmly, but not enough to hurt you!), and then keep holding it like that. Do this a minute or so after the baby has stopped actively sucking/swallowing. You'll know it's working if you see the baby again start to swallow and suck more actively. Once it stops working, you can release the squeeze, shift your hand to a different position on your breast, and try it again.

    You say that your 1wo baby has gained only 1.5 oz this week. How much did she weigh at birth? When were her weight checks after that, and how much did she weigh at each one?

    Five dirty diapers a day is good output for a 1wo. Are her stools yellowish by now, or still showing some black or green meconium? In general, the more poops, the faster she'll clear the bilirubin that is causing the jaundice.

    Are you getting any follow-up guidance from an IBCLC-credentialed lactation consultant? Nipple shields can be a real blessing and have saved many breastfeeding relationships in the early days. But there are some risks that go along with them (such as lower milk supply), so it's important to be talking frequently with an IBCLC or a LLL Leader who can help you figure out whether you need to also be pumping to keep your milk supply up.

    You'll get through this -- the problems you're experiencing are actually quite common, so I'm hoping that some recently BTDT moms will chime in soon with their success stories to encourage you. Keep nursing and let us know how things are going.


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