The Mechanics of Breast Pumping: Compression Stimuli Increased Milk Ejection

Breastfeed Med. 2016 Sep;11:370-5. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2015.0172. Epub 2016 Jul 20.


Background: The use of breast pumps with a compression component has shown their higher efficacy compared with vacuum pumps. However, the direct role of the compression stimulus is not sufficiently proven in the removal of milk from the main milk ducts of the breast. The aim of this study was to determine the contribution pulsating compression component of the breast pump has on total volume milk ejection by vacuum and compression stimuli.

Subjects and methods: Twenty-four lactating women of 21-30 years of age, who volunteered to be included in this study, were examined. Experimental breast pump with vacuum and compressive components were used to express breast milk.

Results: It was found that volume milk ejection together with vacuum and compression stimuli was 10-46% more than expressing only with vacuum stimuli. Average values were 40.5% ± 5% for expression only with vacuum stimuli and 59.5% ± 5% for expression with vacuum and compression stimuli.

Conclusions: Compression stimuli increased the efficacy of the breast pump, which is not only due to the effective formation milk ejection reflex but also directly to an additional squeezing of milk from the breast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast / physiology*
  • Breast Milk Expression / instrumentation*
  • Breast Milk Expression / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Milk Ejection / physiology*
  • Milk, Human / physiology*
  • Mothers*
  • Russia
  • Vacuum
  • Young Adult