Hand Expressing Breast Milk

Learning how to remove milk with your hands is one of the most useful and important skills for a breastfeeding mom. Hand expression (sometimes called hands-on pumping or manual expression) has helped moms out since long before pumps were invented.

Hand expression helps relieve pressure or engorgement. You can also do it to put a little milk on your nipple to rouse a sleepy baby’s interest in feeding.

Hand expression, when combined with electric pumping, can also help your overall milk supply, especially if your baby is born prematurely or at a low birth weight.

Don’t be afraid to be hands on! Here’s how you do it:

  • Take your breast in one hand and hold it from the bottom, with your fingers pointing upward.
  • Press back, then gently squeeze your breast while moving your fingers toward your nipple.
  • Release.
  • Repeat! You should see drops of milk on your nipple. It may take a few rounds to see any milk coming out.

It can help to see a visual when learning to hand express. This video will give you a better idea of how to use your hands to express milk out of your breasts.

See also ...

•  When your milk comes in

• More hand expressing tips

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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