If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, milk expression by hand is a useful technique to learn. You can also use it to stimulate milk production and provide milk for a baby who is not breastfeeding well or needs more milk. Why hand expression?
Back to Your pregnancy and baby guide. Expressing milk means squeezing milk out of your breast so you can store it and feed it to your baby later. You can express milk by hand or with a breast pump.
Many women hand express milk to reduce engorgement,  prevent let down, and save milk for later use. For some women, hand expression can be a more comfortable alternative to breast pumps. The process can be done anywhere, and without special tools or devices.
This article shares tips and videos to help you get your milk flowing and the circumstances when it is particularly useful. Exactly where to place your fingers for the best effect is individual to each mother and trial and error. The narrator reminds mothers not to let fingers slide across the breast:.
Breast pumps are a modern day miracle, but hand expression can definitely come in handy. Even when their milk "comes in," some mothers find hand expression more efficient and comfortable than pumping: It makes them feel more control over the process, and many find it more relaxing than being hooked up to a machine. And what about those times when you forgot your pump, your pump is malfunctioning, or your power has gone out?
Repeat the motion rhythmically until the drops appear. There are many reasons to learn hand expression. In the first couple of days, if you are having trouble helping your baby latch on to your breast, hand express small amounts of colostrum onto a plastic spoon and give it to your baby.
Getting Ready First wash your hands well. Find a clean collection container with a wide mouth, like a cup. Or, you can express your milk into a spoon and feed it directly to the baby.
You can use it to stimulate milk production if you need to increase your supply, and to provide milk for your baby. You can also combine hand expressing with pumping — read more about pumping here. Hand expression is often used for antenatal expression of colostrum — read more here.
While there are so many things about breastfeeding that we like for all breastfeeding mommies to know, there are a few quick tips we think moms should be armed with before they head home from delivery and start their breastfeeding adventure. One of the best tools to equip every mom with is how to properly utilize hand expression a fancy word for squeezing milk out of your breast. Hand expression is a skill in and of itself just like breastfeeding. It takes a little practice to perfect.