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How-To Guide: Using a Vibrator as a Lactation Tool

How-To Guide: Using a Vibrator as a Lactation Tool

Chestfeeding can be a mentally difficult, not to mention laborious, process. I’m sure you heard that lactation massagers can aid this process, but have you ever thought about the fact that lactation massagers are essentially just vibrators? Why buy a whole new lactation device when you can get 2-for-1 with a VUSH vibe?

At VUSH, we recognise that not all people who give birth are women, so we use the term “chestfeeding” to accomodate for non-binary and transmasc parents who may not resonate with “breastfeeding” terminology. Please note, at times within the article we will go into detail about breast anatomy and shape to provide specific tips for lactation massage. 

Speaking of tips, here’s everything you need to know about using a vibrator as a lactation tool.


TOP 5 BENEFITS OF LACTATION MASSAGE

 

1) Speed Up Let Down

The vibrations of lactation tools trigger the let down reflex which produces prolactin to make milk and oxytocin to release the milk. This positive feedback loop is triggered by stimulation of the breasts, such as a baby sucking on the nipples. Since let down doesn’t always happen as fast or naturally as expected, stimulating the nerves in the breast and nipple through massage sends messages to the brain to speed up the process.

2) Unblock Milk Ducts

If milk ducts are unable to drain properly, they can become blocked and milk flow is prevented. Signs of a blocked duct can include tender, firm, red, painful spots on the breast, whether there is an obvious lump or not. Firmly massaging the breasts in the direction towards the nipple can help unclog blocked milk ducts.

3) Prevent Mastitis

When the pain from a blocked milk duct increases and the breast becomes inflamed, this can turn into mastitis. Milk ducts can be unclogged through lactation massage before they develop into mastitis. Mastitis requires treatment and is often accompanied by flu-like symptoms and red streaks from the infected area. If you suspect you’ve developed mastitis, speak to a GP or health care professional.

4) Improve Milk Flow

Reducing the fear of not having enough milk by increasing your milk supply through lactation massage. Massage encourages the “emptying” process by increasing the amount of milk that is released. While breasts are never fully empty until you stop chestfeeding, it is important to drain as much milk as possible. Milk should be emptied from one breast before moving on to feed from the other.

5) Relieve Pain

It goes without saying that chestfeeding can be uncomfortable. Clogged milk ducts and mastitis are painful, let down can cause discomfort, and engorgement or oversupply can occur. Using a vibrator to give yourself a lactation massage not only benefits the chestfeeding process to support the baby, but it can reduce those unpleasant feelings and relieve pain for the feeder.


STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO USING A VIBRATOR FOR LACTATION MASSAGE
 

1) Do it in the moment. When it’s time to feed, get out the vibrator. Lactation massage immediately before or during chestfeeding is recommended.

2) Start on the lowest setting. If the settings of the vibrator feel too powerful to use directly on one breast at a time, sit the vibrator in the middle of the breasts and allow the vibrations to extend to both breasts. For less direct vibrations, use the vibrator over the top of a bra or place a towel over the tip of the vibrator.

3) Try different motions. Find a comfortable and efficient way of moving the vibrator. Here are some specific techniques:

  • Move the vibrator in a sweeping motion from the armpit towards the nipple.
  • Move the vibrator in circular motions towards the nipple.
  • Rock the vibrator forward and back on top of the breast.
  • Press the vibrator firmly underneath the bottom of the breast to massage knots.
  • Place the vibrator inside the bra and let it sit comfortably. 
4) Bonus Step: Add heat! Heat is great for increasing milk production. VUSH toys are waterproof, so try using your vibrator for lactation massage in, or straight after, a warm shower or bath.
 

TOP VIBRATOR PICKS FOR LACTATION MASSAGE

Many different types of vibrators can be used as lactation massagers, and each person will prefer a different shape or amount of pressure.

1) Abbie. The settings on our internal vibrator are strong enough to massage the breasts properly without becoming too painful. The tip of the vibrator is round and firm with a floral design that can feel nice and gentle. The long handle is easy to use and the curved shape of the toy complements the shape of the breasts.

2) Muse. The tip of the larger arm on our rabbit vibrator covers a large surface area. It has both a flat side and a round edge, so you can choose the side that feels most comfortable or effective. Similarly to Abbie/Myth, the handle on Muse is long and easy to use. The smaller arm can be used simultaneously in a different area on the breast.

3) Gloss. The bullet vibrator from our POP Collection is a great option for when you're on the go, since chestfeeding is not always an activity that can be limited to within the home. The design of Gloss is very discreet so there shouldn’t be any issues using it in public. It is small enough to be subtle but powerful enough to do the job.

4) Plump. A palm vibrator is always a good option for lactation massage as most devices are shaped to fit into the palm. Plump is round and soft. The rumbly settings and squishy design mean it is a more gentle option compared to our other vibes. The beauty-blender-like shape is discreet for public use (people will never know it’s a vibrator!).


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