Hand expression is when a woman manually milks the breast by
hand. Some mothers find hand expressing more natural and actually more
efficient than pumping. Others find it a little bit more difficult
expressing milk by hand…always remember practice makes perfect.
Reasons why mom might need to hand express
- If baby is ill and mom cannot breastfeed him the first few days
- To express breast milk a little if your breasts are too full
- If mom’s
nipples are sore
and she wants to take a few hours brake from breastfeeding for them to heal.
- To stimulate milk production
Here is a breast milk video on hand expressing milk…
Positioning when expressing breast milk by hand
- Put your thumb above your nipple and two fingers below the nipple, your hand should form a C.
How to express breast milk with the marmet technique
- Push your fingers into the chest, if you have large breasts you
should first lift them and then press in. Roll your thumb and finger
forward towards the nipple to drain the milk reservoirs. Repeat this
process a few times. Use both hands on each breast so that alternative
reservoirs are emptied.
- Do not squeeze your breast and do not pull your nipple this can cause damage.
Improving milk ejection reflex for hand expressing milk
- Massage your breasts
, move your fingers in circular motions around the breast until you reach the areola.
- Shaking your breasts while leaning forward can also get the milk ejection reflex going
- Having a warm bath can also help release milk easier, you can use a warm wet facecloth for the same purpose too.
For best hand expression moms will need to improve ejection
reflex as explained above then use the expression technique and then
repeat the process again. This whole process should take about 30
minutes to complete. To keep a good supply on exclusive expressing, it
is recommended to express at least eight times daily.
When manually expressing breast milk
- Always use a sterilized container for the expressed milk
- Wash your hands before expressing
- Express while you are relaxed and have plenty of time