Is It Bad To Squeeze Your Breasts During Pregnancy? (Is It Safe To Collect Colostrum Before Birth?)

It’s not generally bad to squeeze your breasts during pregnancy, and if you’re doing it to collect colostrum before birth, you can do so after completing 39 weeks of pregnancy. Even if small, there’s a chance that hand expression could lead to stimulation that leads to contractions and labor. So, make sure that you’re being gentle in your hand gestures and if you have any doubts, then clear them with your lactation consultant.

Pregnancy is a delicate time for mothers; they experience changes in different parts of their bodies, including breasts.

Many breast changes happen right from the first trimester as the body prepares for childbirth. While you might have tons of questions about breast changes, a question about squeezing the breasts is not so uncommon.

Breasts become tender during this time, so it’s a valid question to ask oneself if it’s bad to squeeze your breasts during pregnancy.

Breast changes during pregnancy

First trimester

In the first trimester up until the 13 weeks, breasts start to feel tender, and they might even feel a bit heavier for some people. Enlargement and blue veins are other changes that occur.

These changes happen as the hormone level rises in the body and the blood flow increases to the breast tissue.

Second trimester

During the 14 to 27 weeks, the areolas become darker, accompanied by bumps. Mothers might also notice nipple discharge, and breasts will become lumpy.

Nipple discharge is also known as colostrum, or golden milk, as it’s packed with nutrition for the baby.

Third trimester

In the final months of the pregnancy, breasts will continue to enlarge, and whatever signs you have seen in the first two trimesters will become more prominent.

Some mothers feel such discomfort during the pregnancy in their breasts that they wouldn’t want them to be touched in any way.

But some mothers like to collect colostrum during this time. Then there are also times when you’re intimate with your partner, so concern about touching breasts might arise.

Can you squeeze breasts during pregnancy?

If you’re trying to take colostrum and store it for your baby, you have to express it with your hands, pressing your breasts and stimulating a flow.

A pregnant woman is sitting on her bed gently squeezing her breasts to help produce colostrum

Colostrum is considered the best milk for a newborn baby as it contains high antibodies. The protein in this milk fights infections and helps build a robust immune system in babies.

While it depends on when mothers start collecting and storing this milk in their situation, most of it happens in the last month of their pregnancy.

However, most mothers are concerned as stimulating nipples and expressing by hand could result in regular contractions of the womb and lead to an early birth situation.

While it’s true that nipple stimulation leads to an increase in the hormone oxytocin, this action doesn’t need to result in early labor.

It depends on your situation because if you do express milk in the last month of your pregnancy, the pressing of breasts alone needs to be done for an hour for three successive days for it to work.

Because you’re trying to collect colostrum, there’s a slim chance it could lead to contractions.

The only possible scenario is when you’re having sex while your breasts are being squeezed and the nipples are getting stimulated. You must have heard this from a doctor, as they recommend this as one of the ways to bring on contractions.

Is squeezing out colostrum bad?

If you’re thinking about collecting colostrum and storing it for future use, you need to understand how this works.

For starters, it’s recommended not to start expressing and collecting this milk before you complete 39 weeks of pregnancy. This is because some mothers are sensitive, and squeezing breasts could lead to contractions and labor.

This liquid gold is yellow, thick, and sticky, but it works wonders for a baby. For some mothers, it’s quite easier to notice some milky nipple discharge, and this might be this golden milk.

If you’re seeing a lot of it, it will be easier to collect this milk. It’s better to wash your hands before and after expressing with your hands. This milk is relatively less in quantity, so don’t expect much to come out.

You cannot collect this using a breast pump as it can be pretty stimulating and result in early labor.

Yes, just after birth when you can use a breast pump but after talking about it with your lactation consultant. Always use your hands to express this milk and store it in a tight and dry container.

Be gentle with your breasts; if there’s no sign of colostrum, don’t be disappointed.

Remember, it’s not necessary to get this milk; your regular breast milk a few days after birth is as good for the baby.

FAQs

Should I squeeze out colostrum during pregnancy?

If you see some discharge from your nipples, you can talk to your lactation consultant and learn how to express milk with your hands.

Please don’t use a breast pump, as it might lead to contractions. Also, don’t expect too much of this milk as it’s little in quantity.

When should I start massaging my breasts during pregnancy?

Pregnant women should start massaging their breasts with oil to help prevent stretch marks. Using almond oil for 15 minutes each day can help reduce those marks.

But massaging your breasts twice for 30 minutes in total ten days after childbirth also helps lactating mothers experience less pain and produce a good quantity of milk as this stimulation help increase the flow.

The baby empties the milk ducts, which encourages more milk production.

Should you massage sore breasts during pregnancy?

During this delicate time, the breasts go through a lot of changes. They enlarge, and due to the changes, they become sore.

Actually, a little gentle massage with oil might help get rid of this soreness and comfort the breasts. Make sure the massage is very soft and slow.

You could also use an ice pack to reduce the pain.

Why do my nipples hurt when touched during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the hormones change your breasts and help them enlarge.

This happens as the milk ducts grow and are stretched as they fill with milk early in pregnancy, and all this change causes the breasts to become sensitive and soreness to increase.

To summarise

Each woman’s situation might be different during pregnancy. While some don’t feel the changes in their body on a higher level, others are quite sensitive till the end.

Changes in your breasts are inevitable as they prepare to produce milk. While it’s true that they’re sensitive, you can still use hand expression to store colostrum if you want.

However, there could be chances of going into labor as well as the more stimulated your breasts or nipples get higher the chances of developing contractions.

As a writer for 1happykiddo, Saumya wants to help new parents and older siblings help raise the newest member added to the family. Her parenting tips come from her experience of being 15 years older than her youngest sibling. When not writing, you can find her reading novels, traveling, and cooking nutritious meals.

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