Stroking Out The Breast: This Is How It Works Best

Stroking the breast is very important for breastfeeding moms. This allows them to naturally relieve the pain they sometimes feel when breastfeeding. Due to incorrect latching on, inflammation in the breast, or in the event of milk congestion, the breasts become taut or hardened.

Thus, the process of breastfeeding can become very painful for the mother. By expressing the breast you will quickly feel an improvement – and your baby, in particular, will also benefit from this.

Breast Expression – This Is Why It Is So Important

It feels like a gentle massage when you express your breast. You can either do it regularly before breastfeeding your baby to facilitate the flow of milk. Or you can massage your breast in between to prevent mastitis.

However, you should pay attention to a few things when rubbing your breasts.

When Should You Express The Breast?

In the first three to four days after birth, the mother’s breast is extremely sensitive. This sensitivity affects both the areola and the entire skin area. It takes about a week for the new mother to develop the milk-giving reflex.

Until this happens, however, some mothers have to stimulate the milk supply “on their own”, which is usually done by expressing the breast.

Breast Expressing Is Not Only Helpful In The Case Of A Milk Congestion

Milk congestion can also be best relieved by breast expression. Moreover, painful breasts can occur during weaning or when the child’s need for milk is lower due to longer periods of sleeping through the night.

Breast stroking is also soothing support and can help to relieve the pain. This article will tell you how to properly express your breasts in case of milk congestion and what benefits you and your little darling will have as a result.

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Why Breast Expression Can Be So Beneficial

Sometimes women have problems with breastfeeding immediately after the birth of their child. The reasons for this can be sore nipples or swelling of the mammary glands.

If the milk has not yet been expressed, the formation of colostrum can be stimulated by breast stroking.


Colostrum is also referred to as first milk or colostrum. In specialist circles, it is also referred to as colostrum. It is the first fluid generated in the female mammary glands within the first 24 to 48 hours after birth, passed through the milk duct and then delivered via the nipples.

Pre-milk is characterized by an extremely high content of antibodies, which are of particular value for your child’s immune system. Even if mothers do not want to breastfeed, for fear of pain or for other reasons, many of them still decide to pump at least this precious first milk.

Because they know that they can give their little darling the best they can possibly give him. You can gently trigger the milk-giving reflex by expressing your breast.

This makes breastfeeding easier in the early days. In addition, babies who initially find it difficult to drink or suckle at the mother’s breast also benefit from this. In the case of milk engorgement or even mastitis, breast expression is often helpful.

Even if the breasts are very painful, many affected breastfeeding moms find that breast expression is a real relief. Congestion is relieved and the milk ducts are freed so that the accumulated milk can flow out. The pressure that had previously built up in the breasts is relieved by the breast expression.

What Is Breast Expression All About?

A breast massage is a very gentle massage in which you stroke your breasts with your hands from top to bottom, i.e. up to the nipple. This stimulates the blood circulation in each breast and promotes the milk supply.

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What You Should Bear In Mind When Stroking Your Breasts

To ensure good hygiene, it is very important that you wash your hands thoroughly before stroking your breasts. This alone can prevent germs, bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens from getting into the breast milk through the nipples or sensitive skin – and consequently being transferred to your baby.

To promote milk let-down and intensify blood circulation, you can apply warm compresses to the breasts. It is best to do this immediately before expressing the breast and take about five minutes to do so. The warmth of the moist compress softens the tissue of the breast so that the milk ducts can empty more easily.

It is advisable to shake the breasts briefly before spreading the breast. This also loosens the tissue and allows a little milk to flow out, so that some pressure can be taken off the tense or swollen breast before the breast is expressed.

Gently And With A Little Pressure – This Is The Right Way To Remove Pressure From The Breasts

Following the so-called Plata-Rueda method, you can first take one of your breasts between your hands. Gently squeeze it by moving it with your hands first from top to bottom and then from right to left.

One hand can gently support the breast from below, while the fingertips of the other hand lightly massage the tense and aching breast tissue in small movements. It is important that the massage is done in circular “strokes”. During this process, the fingers circle the nipple once each.

Do the same with the other breast. Take a few minutes for this pleasant procedure and concentrate on what you are doing. Afterward, your breasts will be very well prepared for breastfeeding or pumping.

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Even if you’re not used to breastfeeding and it feels strange at first, keep at it. You will see that you will soon be able to express your breasts without any problems.


After a while, more experienced breastfeeding moms will even be able to express their breasts with their hands at the same time. You can eliminate possible milk congestion by smoothing out the breasts by proceeding as follows after the massage to empty the breasts.

Place your thumb and index finger in the so-called C-grip behind the nipple on the skin surface. Make sure that the distance to the areola is about three to four centimeters. This is the area where most of the glandular tissue is located and where breast milk is formed.

Press with both fingers in the direction of the rib cage. Then gently, but with a certain amount of pressure, bring your thumb and index finger towards each other. As soon as the areola is slightly pushed together, some milk will flow out. Please keep in mind that your fingers must not slide over the treated skin area when pressing.

Once you have a feeling for the correct procedure, you can repeat the process rhythmically in the same area. The advantage of this method is that you can extract breast milk from different areas of the breast.


Change hands occasionally to ensure that all milk ducts are emptied as well as possible. As a rule, this type of massage takes about 15 to 20 minutes for one breast. Sometimes it is possible to support the flow of milk by bending slightly forward.

The so-called quadruped position is also suitable for this under certain circumstances. Untreated milk stasis can lead to severe mastitis. Even gentle touching is extremely painful due to the inflammation and swelling.

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Breastfeeding becomes a problem for the affected mother, and sexual intercourse with a partner is also often difficult during this phase. For these reasons, too, it is important to treat the milk stasis or inflammation in the breast as early as possible.

What Is Mastitis?

Mastitis is a pathological, bacterial inflammation of the mammary gland. It occurs mainly during breastfeeding and is usually triggered by bacteria. Accordingly, inadequate breast hygiene is the cause in many cases.

Such a breast disease is usually accompanied by severe breast pain. The taste of breast milk changes; breast milk becomes salty. Many new mothers are reluctant to continue breastfeeding their child in the event of a painful breast infection because they are afraid of infecting their child with the bacteria.

In addition, they are afraid of possible pain during breastfeeding. However, breastfeeding can be a relief for the breastfeeding mommy.

If you are not quite sure how to latch your baby on properly so that breastfeeding is a pleasant experience for both of you that strengthens your bond, ask your midwife for advice. Alternatively, to protect your breasts, you can pump your milk with a breast pump for a few days.

With an electric device, pumping is even and continuous. While babies sometimes enjoy nibbling on the nipple, which is perceived as extremely painful when mastitis is present, pumping is a real relief at times.

The milk ducts are emptied, the pressure in the breasts is relieved and the inflammation will slowly subside.


Breast expressing does require a little practice in the early days after birth. But there are many mothers who can do it “hands down” after only a short time.

Whether it’s to promote milk let-down, in the case of milk congestion, or even in the case of inflammatory breast disease – breast expression helps and is perceived by breastfeeding mothers as a real relief even in the case of painful breasts.


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