Milk stasis: 8 tips to avoid engorgement or mastitis -

Milk stasis during the first months of breastfeeding and 8 tips to avoid engorgement or mastitis

Milk stasis during the first months of breastfeeding and 8 tips to avoid engorgement or mastitis

During the first months of breastfeeding it may happen that the newborn does not suck all the milk because the production is abundant or because he is unable to latch onto the breast correctly, or because he is not able to suckle when and as much as he would like. Sometimes the production of very dense milk can prevent the lactiferous ducts from emptying, just as ducts that are too narrow do not allow the milk to flow well.

What is milk stasis?

Milk stasis is the situation in which the lactiferous ducts fill up too much and the milk infiltrates the surrounding tissues and stagnates, creating a mammary engorgement which can lead to inflammation: mastitis.


What is the anti-stasis action?

Anti-stasis action refers to the preventive measures that can be taken to avoid or reduce the possibility of breast engorgement. These actions are aimed at maintaining a regular flow of breast milk and preventing the accumulation of milk inside the breast.

8 tips to avoid the risk of milk stasis in the breast:

1. Frequent breastfeeding

A key element in preventing breast engorgement is frequentbreastfeeding . Try to breastfeed your baby often, both at regular intervals and on demand, as frequent breastfeeding stimulates a smooth flow of milk and prevents the accumulation and stagnation of milk in the breast.

2. Complete emptying of the breast

While breastfeeding, it is important to ensure that the breasts are completely emptied. Offer your baby the opportunity to feed until he spontaneously detaches from the breast or shows signs of satiety. This helps ensure adequate drainage of the milk and prevents accumulation in the breast; if your baby is unable to empty your breasts well, you can help yourself with a three-phase breast pump with an anti-stasis draining function, such as the Materno Smart model by Nuvita.

3. Effective nursing positions

Choose breastfeeding positions that allow your baby to grip the breast well with his mouth and suck effectively. A correct attachment promotes adequate drainage of the milk and prevents breast engorgement. You can consult a lactation consultant or lactation expert to learn the correct positions and receive personalized support.

4. Breast compression

While breastfeeding, you can apply gentle compression to the breasts to help milk flow and prevent pooling; you can do this by gently placing your fingers behind the nipple and pushing towards the chest. This helps your baby get more milk and reduces the risk of stagnation.

5. Breast massage

Breast massage can be helpful in stimulating milk flow and reducing the risk of breast engorgement. You can use gentle, circular movements on your breasts before and during breastfeeding. This helps loosen any knots or milky buildup.

6. Thermal gel pads

Using a pair of thermal gel pads to place on the breast before feeding or using the breast pump helps the ducts to dilate and make the milk flow better. Nuvita pads are reusable and can be used hot to stimulate flow or cold (or extra-cold) by placing them in a bowl of ice water to relieve aches or pain.

7. Avoid clothing or accessories that compress the breasts

Wearing tight clothing or accessories that compress the breasts can impede the flow of milk and contribute to stasis. Make sure you wear comfortable, supportive clothing that won't put pressure on your breasts.

8. Monitor for signs of milk stasis

Look closely at your breasts for any signs of milk stasis , such as hardening, swelling, or pain. If you notice these signs, act promptly to prevent the stasis from turning into full breast engorgement. You can use self-massage techniques, apply moist heat, or consult a healthcare professional who specializes in breastfeeding for more advice and support.


Remember that every woman and every breastfeeding situation is unique. If you are experiencing breast engorgement or have specific questions about breastfeeding, the advice is to seek the help of a lactation consultant. You can easily contact your pediatrician, the midwives or nursery nurses of the hospital where the baby was born, the family consultants of the local health authorities or organizations such as AICPAM and La Leche League Italia .


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