Breastfeeding — it’s one of the most natural things in the world. But who knew there’s so much more that goes into it than just suckle.
If you’ve ever talked to someone who’s already had children, chances are, you’ll find that there are a number of problems that can come up during the breastfeeding period. Milk production, plugged ducts, inflammation … the list goes on.
In conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week, we turned to lactation counselor, founder of Bondahaven, and mother of two, Dr. Tengku Nur ‘Atiqah. She’ll answer some frequently asked questions about these problems and how breastfeeding massage (also known as lactation massage) can help.
Q & A with Dr. Tengku Nur ‘Atiqah
While there are remedies out there to help with these problems, one that does the trick is breastfeeding massage. You can, of course, get a trained massage therapist to do it (post-natal pampering is the best after all, is it not?) or you can learn to do it yourself.
Here’s a few things you should know about breastfeeding and massage.
Q: What Advice Did You Wish You Had When You Were First Breastfeeding?
Dr. Tengku Nur ‘Atiqah: I wish somebody had told me that I needed to attend a breastfeeding class to learn about it and it wasn’t going to be as natural and easy as I thought it would be.
Q: What’s the most common Question Mothers Have About Breastfeeding?
Dr. Tengku Nur ‘Atiqah: The most common one is “What kind of breast pump do I buy?” It depends on your lifestyle, not so much the brand itself because there’s no one brand that fits everybody.
Sometimes, if you’re a stay-at-home mother, you don’t even need a pump. [If you want one], a manual breast pump is best for you to collect stock for emergency purposes.
But if you’re a working mother, it depends on the kind of job you have. If you’re job is stationary (where you sit for most of the day), you can consider a table top double electric breast pump with the tubing.
People who have a more active work environment, like a reporter, a doctor, or a teacher, can opt for a wireless electric breast pump because it’s easier to stick to their pumping schedule.
Q: Are There Different Kinds of Breastfeeding?
Dr. Tengku Nur ‘Atiqah: There are people who feed their baby fully direct feeding. This means the baby latches on to the breast directly all the time. Some people mix between direct feeding and pumping. And then, there are also exclusively pumping mothers who are just pumping milk and feeding their baby through a bottle without actually direct feeding.
They’re all considered breastfeeding and we celebrate all types as long as they’re providing nutrition to their baby.
Q: How Does breastfeeding Massage Help?
Dr. Tengku Nur ‘Atiqah: There are two key problems in breastfeeding:
- Number one is blocked milk ducts. A warm compress and lactation massage can help. The lactation massage will help clear any blocked ducts and help the milk flow better.
- Another one is if you have low milk supply, [Bondahaven] also has this excellent lactation massage that involves the back and the breasts. This targets acupressure points that will release oxytocin to help, again, the milk flow better.
Q: How Would a Mother do a breastfeeding Massage on her own?
Dr. Tengku Nur ‘Atiqah: There are a few simple types of massage that she can do with her own hands, usually moving from the part of the breast that’s closer to the chest towards the nipple.
She can do circular massages and combing motions using the fingertips. She can also do knuckling (using the knuckles) to do firm strokes from the part of the breast that’s nearer to the chest heading towards the nipple as well.
There are also devices that she can use. They’re especially useful for mothers who have low pain tolerance and cannot take direct massage using the hands on their breasts. These devices usually vibrate — some of them have warming functions — so it’s a gentler sensation, yet quite effective.
Q: Are There Any Other Spa Treatments That Would Help With Breastfeeding?
Dr. Tengku Nur ‘Atiqah: Full body massage is very, very important for a mother to relieve body aches, not just for lactation. Breastfeeding mothers go into all sorts of positions while breastfeeding their baby and they also have to hunch forward in order to pump milk.
So this all can lead to body aches and thus, they would really, really benefit from a relaxing massage.
Q: How Is Bondahaven Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week?
Dr. Tengku Nur ‘Atiqah: We are going to host a few online events, including free live sessions throughout the first two weeks of August. We’re also doing breastfeeding class on 13 August 2022.
For more information about how you can benefit from breastfeeding massage, to book an appointment for one, or to find out more about World Breastfeeding Week, contact Bondahaven at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +603-89122221.
Featured Image Credit: Dr. Tengku Nur ‘Atiqah, Bondahaven