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The Best Lactation Massagers, and How and When to Use Them

Stimulate your breast milk supply with these nifty, palm-sized gadgets.
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By Martina Garvey, E-Commerce Editor
Updated January 2, 2024
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Breastfeeding can be a beautiful, bonding experience, but it’s far from easy. Sore nipples, clogged milk ducts and low milk supply are just a few of the issues nursing parents may contend with. But don’t let these common complaints sour your experience—most ailments can be safely treated at home. While it certainly isn’t a fix-all solution, gentle lactation massage can ease breast pain, loosen clogs and stimulate milk supply. Of course, you can always use your hands, but a lactation massager is great if you’re after a quick fix or want to target certain areas.

In case you’re not familiar with it, a lactation massager is a small, handheld device that uses vibration and, in some cases, heat to stimulate the breast tissue and break up clogs. Typically made from silicone, these palm-sized massagers can be helpful in a pinch, but aren’t always necessary for nursing moms. According to Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC, LCCE, a certified lactation consultant in New York City, massagers work well for people that aren’t comfortable handling their breasts—or those with carpal tunnel syndrome or other conditions that make it hard to manually manipulate.

But how can you pick out a breast massager and what’s involved in these tools? We’ve got all the information you need to know about these nifty gadgets, plus our picks of the best lactation massagers on the market.

How We Chose the Best Lactation Massagers

While it’s not a required tool for new parents, a lactation massager can be helpful for breastfeeding moms. To choose the best lactation massagers on the market, which narrowed the field based on the following:

  • We consulted with lactation consultants to learn more about these devices, as well as important elements to consider when shopping for a lactation massager.
  • We made sure to stick to recommendations from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) for breast massages while nursing.
  • We analyzed reviews from real moms to get a better sense of how these breast massagers worked for a range of women. Products with less than an average four-star rating were not considered.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

The Best Lactation Massagers

Best warming lactation massager

Frida Mom 2-in-1 Lactation Massager
Frida Mom 2-in-1 Lactation Massager
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Heat setting
  • Adjustable vibration modes
Things To Consider
  • Short battery life

Give your chest a helping hand with Frida Mom’s warming lactation massager. Adjustable heat and vibration modes gently break up obstructions, so milk can start flowing again. The unique looped end and side scoop help to pull out blocked milk and empty your breasts. Meanwhile, the pointed tip can get to work on clogged ducts. It’s made from medical-grade silicone and is water-resistant to boot.

Dimensions: 3.5" (L) x 2.3" (W) 7.5" (H) | Number of settings: 6

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Best heatless lactation massager

LaVie Lactation Massager
Image: Walmart
What We Love
  • Waterproof
  • Five speed settings
  • Three-hour battery life
Things To Consider
  • No heat setting

Warming lactation massagers are great, but not everyone’s a fan of the sensation. The original lactation massager by LaVie has multiple vibration settings, so you can find the perfect speed for you. The ergonomic design can be used in three different ways: Glide the scooped edge towards the nipple to move milk forward, use the small tip to provide targeted relief to clogged milk ducts and use the flat side to help with sensitivity and engorgement. Plus, the heat-free device is waterproof, meaning you can take it into a hot shower before a nursing session. Good vibes only.

Dimensions: 2" (L) x 1.5" (W) x 4.5" (H) | Number of settings: 5

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Best waterproof lactation massager

What We Love
  • Waterproof
  • Two modes and six intensity speeds
Things To Consider
  • It takes four to five minutes for the massager to warm up

Next up on our list of the best lactation massagers is this pick by Momcozy. Made from silky-soft silicone, the palm-sized gadget is small enough to slip inside a nursing bra. Gentle vibrations and warming sensations relieve pain and discomfort as you produce milk. It has three adjustable heat modes and six intensity speeds. As a result, you can use the heat and vibration settings together or separately. It also happens to be waterproof, so it's suitable for use in the shower.

Dimensions: 1.6" (L) x 1.2" (W) x 3.9" (H) | Number of settings: 9

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Best manual lactation massager

LaVie Lactation Massage Roller
Image: Walmart
What We Love
  • Waterproof
  • Manual device—no charger required
  • Affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • No heat setting

These days there’s a gadget for everything, but if you can’t face having one more device to charge, consider this massage roller by LaVie. This tool offers the same benefits as hands-on lactation massage, and is a good option for parents that dislike vibration. Use the scooped handle to draw milk towards the nipple, and the nobbled roller head to treat pain. Simple yet effective.

Dimensions: 3" (L) x 2" (W) x 6" (H) | Number of settings: N/A

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Best lactation massager with cooling relief

Crane Breast Massager
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Includes cooling gel pads
  • Waterproof
  • Three vibration modes
Things To Consider
  • No heat setting

When it comes to breastfeeding pain, some people prefer cooling relief over a warming sensation. And that’s where the Crane Breast Massager comes in. This non-warming device gently vibrates to help alleviate pain and soothe the discomfort associated with clogged ducts and engorgement. It has three vibration modes and multiple speed settings, so you can customize the intensity to suit your needs. The best part? It comes with cooling gel pads that you can apply to your nipples between nursing or pumping sessions.

Dimensions: 4" (L) x 2.4" (W) x 6" (H) | Number of settings: 3

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Lactation Massagers Comparison Chart

Best warming lactation massagerBest heatless lactation massagerBest waterproof lactation massagerBest manual lactation massagerBest lactation massager with cooling relief
Overall Best
Frida Mom 2-in-1 Lactation Massager
LaVie Lactation Massager
Momcozy Warming and Vibration Lactation Massager
LaVie Lactation Massage Roller
Crane Breast Massager
Price$$$$$$$$$$$$
Dimensions3.5" (L) x 2.3" (W) 7.5" (H)2" (L) x 1.5" (W) x 4.5" (H)1.6" (L) x 1.2" (W) x 3.9" (H)3" (L) x 2" (W) x 6" (H)4" (L) x 2.4" (W) x 6" (H)
Number of settings659N/A3
Travel pouch included
Heat setting
Buy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full Review

Is Lactation Massage Safe?

Current guidance from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) advises against deep-tissue massage for parents dealing with mastitis. However, in the case of a clogged duct, Wendy Wisner, IBCLC, a certified lactation consultant in New York City, says that gentle sweeping motions with your hands or light stimulation with a lactation massager may be soothing and helpful. “The idea is that you wouldn’t press the massager too vigorously or aim for any kind of deep-tissue massage,” she adds. Before purchasing a lactation massager, check in with your primary care provider or a lactation consultant for advice and guidance.

Benefits of a Lactation Massager

While it isn’t a necessity for new parents, a lactation massager can be a helpful tool if you choose to pump or breastfeed. Below, the three main benefits of using a lactation massager.

  • Stimulate milk flow. Everyone is different, but for some people, light massage can stimulate the flow of breastmilk. Although lactation massage doesn’t increase milk supply, it can “wake up” the breasts and get your milk flowing, explains Wisner. This is especially helpful if you are about to nurse, as it entices baby to latch and suck more vigorously—and frequent nursing or pumping sessions can increase milk production.
  • Help to relieve clogged milk ducts. “If milk ducts are blocked, it’s like a traffic jam and the milk doesn’t flow,” explains O’Connor. Alongside frequent nursing or pumping sessions, gentle vibration or light manual massage can help to release blockages that cause clogged milk ducts.
  • Reduce pain. In addition to vibration, some lactation massagers are designed with a soothing heat setting. Applying a little heat to the affected area can ease the symptoms of painful, engorged breasts. However, it’s important to note that cold compresses—or a combination of the two—are the best way to reduce inflammation. And if you’re having trouble getting your baby to latch, or if the breasts are so engorged that the nipple is flattened, Wisner recommends contacting a lactation consultant for help.

How to Use a Lactation Massager

Before unboxing your new gadget read the instructions and, if possible, watch an online demonstration by a reputable lactation massager brand. Wisner warns against deep-tissue massage, as this can actually be counterproductive, so start on the lowest vibration setting. You can always go up a level, as needed. “To use the massager, find the targeted spot and focus on that area, gently moving in a circular motion,” explains O’Connor. It can also be helpful to massage away from the clog, to create more space for the milk to flow, she continues.

About the writer:

Martina Garvey is an editor at The Bump, where she writes and edits e-commerce content for pregnancy, postpartum and parenting. Over a seven-year career in educational publishing and digital media, Martina has developed a keen eye for detail and robust reporting skills. As a staff member on The Bump for over three years, she leverages an in-depth knowledge of must-have baby gear and postpartum essentials alongside a passion for the latest trends to create informative content parents can trust.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

Sources

Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC, LCCE, is a New York-based board-certified lactation consultant with more than 20 years of experience. She is a former president of the New York Lactation Consultant Association.

Wendy Wisner, IBCLC, is a board-certified lactation consultant and writer based in New York. She is a former La Leche League leader.

Breastfeeding Medicine, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Clinical Protocol #36: The Mastitis Spectrum, Revised 2022 , May 2022

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