Does warming the breasts affect the amount of breastmilk production?

Breastfeed Med. 2012 Dec;7(6):487-8. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2011.0142. Epub 2012 Mar 16.


Background and objective: Increasing the amount of breastmilk is vital for both the nursing mother and child. Warming up breasts before using electrical pumps to pump out breastmilk may help to increase the amount of breastmilk, especially in the mothers of babies who are being nursed in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Subjects and methods: Thirty-nine mothers whose babies had been admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit were analyzed. A breast compress that was warmed up in a microwave oven for 1 minute at 180 W was applied to one of the breasts for 20 minutes, and both breasts were sucked by an electrical breast pump for 15 minutes. The amount of breastmilk after each procedure was recorded.

Results: The amount of breastmilk that was obtained from warmed breasts was significantly higher than that obtained from nonwarmed breasts (maximum, 47.02 ± 23.01 mL vs. 33.15 ± 19.98 mL) (p=0.000).

Conclusion: Warming up breasts by a breast compress is easy and affordable, and this procedure increases the amount of breastmilk, thus facilitating infant nutrition and recovery especially in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Milk Expression / methods*
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Male
  • Turkey