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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Breastfeeding Month: Hand Expression (commonly forgotten option)

Before Breastfeeding Month is over, I had to write about this since it's commonly ignored, yet important information. Hand Expression is becoming a forgotten art that needs to be reiterated. It's free, the second most gentle form of getting milk out of a lactating mother (first is direct latching) and what more can you ask for!
I have to really love the web/Internet. If only information about breastfeeding was more forthcoming and readily available when I first gave birth to my son. I was alone and pretty much on my own with regards to being able to ensure I had ample milk and finding the right strategy in moving to breastfeeding my son, whether it be mixed (for some time) to exclusively breastmilk back in 2010. Information and support was rarer and was quite limited in information.

Searching about Breastmilk Hand Expression is now so many!!?!!! Just see the below reliable sources that I would like to share to readers and friends who ask me about this. Got to love love love the support and education these writers share with all of us!
It's more efficient (also under-utilized) mode of breastmilk extraction without the requirement of a pump. I've been using this nowadays when I am lazy to bring my pump. I just make sure I have a bottle and I'm good to go!

Base on Ask Dr. Sears
Hand Expressing Your Milk
The Low-Tech Approach: Hand Expression
Expressing milk by hand works very well for some women. It's a handy skill to have when:
  • You are caught somewhere with full breasts and you don't have your baby or a breastpump, you'll be able to relieve breast fullness and avoid problems with engorgement.
  • You do not need to express milk regularly.
  • Your breasts are more responsive to the skin-to-skin feeling of hand expression than to plastic pump parts.

  1. Position your hand on your breast, with the thumb above and fingers underneath, about an inch to an inch-and-a-half behind the nipple. If your breast were a clock, your thumb would be at 12 o'clock and your fingers at 6 o'clock. Don't cup your breast in your hand. Instead, your thumb and fingers should be directly across the nipple from each other.
  2. Press your thumb and fingers directly back into the breast tissue, towards the wall of your chest. Don't move them further apart. Just press straight back into the breast.
  3. Roll your fingers and thumb forward to squeeze milk out of the milk sinuses, which are located under the areola behind the nipple. Don't slide the thumb or fingers along the skin--this will quickly make you sore.
  4. Repeat this sequence--position, press, roll--until the milk flow ceases. Then move your hand so that the thumb and fingers are positioned at 11 and 5 o'clock and do it again. Use both hands to work your way around one breast, then switch to the other side until you have emptied all of the milk sinuses. As soon as you see milk squirting from your nipple, you know you are compressing the underlying milk sinuses. (This position is also where baby's gums should be during efficient latch-on.)
  5. The trick to hand expression is discovering where to position your fingers. Experiment until you find the right spot. Having someone show you how is very helpful, too.
  6. Combining hand-expression with breast massage can be a very effective way to stimulate the milk-ejection reflex. Massage first, then express. Massage again, and repeat the hand- expressing routine.
"When I relaxed, I could pump more milk. A friend who's a dairy farmer told me that cows yield less milk when they're in a bad mood or if milked by a stranger."

When you hand-express, milk sprays out in all directions.
  • If you're expressing just to make your breasts more comfortable, you can lean over a sink or express into a towel.
  • If you want to save the milk, you'll need something in which to collect it. Some mothers manage to aim the nipple directly into a baby bottle. Or, try a container with a wider mouth, like a coffee cup or a small jar. As the cup fills up, transfer the milk to a storage container.
  • TIP: I use the funnel cones (from breastpumps) for hand-expression that collects the milk and channels it down into a standard baby bottle --> I no longer use this since I baslically do the above which makes it easier.
Based on
Links: Milk expression tips & pump information
July 28, 2011. Posted in: Pumping issues
Manual/hand expression of milk
Breast Massage: Therapheutic Breast Massage referred by Maya Bolman IBCLC



cris said...

Hi sis! I have a question, we're going to HK and we want to go to Ikea. We're staying in Hollywood hotel in HK Disneyland. OF the 3 branches, which is the most convenient Ikea we can go to from Disneyland?

~currant7 said...

Hi Cris,

Sorry - not sure if I answered you o on this before.
I checked google maps, I think the Causewaybay branch is still the closest and easier to access. :)