Breast Massage: Benefits, Risks & How to Do It Safely

Breast Massage: Benefits, Risks & How to Do It Safely

Whether you’re breastfeeding, premenstrual, or simply want to explore, breast massage comes with a bunch of benefits. We’ll take you through the details.
The term “breast massage” encompasses a variety of different activities.

This complex body part has all sorts of functions, ranging from feeding to fornicating.

(Yep, the nipple orgasm is a real thing.)

So there are many reasons why you might want to massage them.

Whether you want to know how to massage sore breasts before your period, to get your circulation going, to help with breastfeeding, or because it feels good, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s dive in.

In this article: 📝

  • The lowdown on breast massage
  • Breast massage when breastfeeding
  • Breast massage for breast pain before your period
  • Breast massage for lymphatic drainage
  • Breast massage: the bottom line

The lowdown on breast massage

You may already know the benefits of giving your boobs a rub to check yourself for signs of breast cancer.

(If you need help with performing a self-check, check out this important info from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.)

Beyond this, there are all sorts of other breast massage benefits to explore.

Breast massage when breastfeeding

Experts recommend breastfeeding your baby for the first six months of their life.

And while it’s pretty remarkable that you can produce this miracle liquid that will kick-start your little one’s journey, breastfeeding is not without its challenges.

Particularly in the early days, it’s normal for your breasts to become engorged (which means very full).

Other issues that you could encounter are mastitis, which is an inflammation of your breast tissue, or blocked ducts, where the flow of your milk is obstructed.

All of this can lead to pain and discomfort.

So here comes the good news.

While there is still a lot more research needed in this area, breast massage has been shown to reduce immediate pain.

This study showed that therapeutic breast massage shows serious promise as a treatment for acute pain related to milk build-up.

There are various methods that may help:

DIY massage

Here’s how to massage each breast for pain relief:

  • Start with one breast at a time—four fingers above your nipples and four below.
  • Gently massage in circular motions.
  • Now it’s time to go horizontal. Place one hand on the right of your nipple and the other on the left.
  • Move your fingers in circular motions.
  • Most importantly, trust yourself and do what feels good.

Hands-on pumping

This is a method of massaging your breast while you’re pumping.

The benefits of this may go even further than pain relief, with some research suggesting that it may increase milk supply.

This video from Stanford Medicine shows you how.

Oketani method

This method also helps with milk supply and pain reduction.

Administered by nurses and midwives, it involves massaging connective breast tissue.

And it’s shown very promising results.

If this is something you’re interested in exploring, speak to your healthcare provider about how to get in touch with a trained therapist.

Using a soft silicone ball

As we learn more about these benefits, technology has stepped up to help.

One product is a soft silicone ball that uses heat and massage techniques to help prevent pain and increase milk production.

And although the research is still young, the results are encouraging.

Important note: If you are experiencing pain in your breasts, it could also be a sign of breast infection. Check-in with your doctor so that they can evaluate your symptoms.

Also, if you’re having breastfeeding challenges, a lactation specialist can really help.

You don’t have to just struggle through this.

And you’re definitely not alone.

Breast massage for breast pain before your period

Breast pain related to your menstrual cycle is called cyclic mastalgia.

There’s also non-cyclic mastalgia—which is breast pain that’s not related to your cycle.

While both types can resolve on their own, you shouldn’t have to just put up with the pain while it’s happening.

So here’s how you do it:

Massage your breasts using the same method you would if you were breastfeeding—in circular motions, four fingers above, four fingers below, and then horizontally.

You may also want to include a hot or cold compress in the mix for maximum soothe.

Breast massage for lymphatic drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage is a collection of techniques developed to help with swollen lymph nodes.

It’s also been shown to be an effective part of breast cancer treatment.

The lymphatic system helps maintain fluid levels in your body, absorb fats from the digestive system, and support your immune system.

If this system is damaged or blocked, it can result in a build-up of fluid in your tissue called lymphedema.

When this is related to breast cancer, it can cause swelling in your arm, breast, or chest.

This gentle form of massage is administered by a physiotherapist or other trained professional to give the lymphatic system a boost.

Breast massage: the bottom line

If you’re looking for a way to go up a cup size, unfortunately, breast massage is not it.

But the other benefits make engaging with this activity completely worth it.

And that’s whether you’re breastfeeding, experiencing breast pain, or simply want to explore.


💡 More from The 411:
Menopause and Breast Pain: What to Know
What to Know if You Have a Rash Under Your Breast
Yeast Infection Under the Breast: Signs, Causes & Treatment
Why Are My Breasts Getting Bigger After Menopause?
34 Quotes to Empower Women
Boobs Sore After Period? What to Know
Breast Reduction Surgery Cost: All You Need To Know

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