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Heather Kelly, IBCLC

Your question: How can you hand express breastmilk? - Juliette G.

The expert answers: Hand expression is when a woman manually "milks" the milk producing sinuses just behind the nipple.

The best way to hand express milk is to place your thumb and forefingers on either side of your nipple, around the border of the areola and to bring your fingers back towards the chest wall, compressing your fingers together as you move them downwards (i.e., towards the nipple) again. Visualize a "rolling" motion, with your fingers and thumb working to maximize the surface area covered during each expression.



Hand expression is becoming a lost art with the advent of relatively inexpensive and efficient breastpumps. However, for many women, hand expression remains a viable or even a preferred option.

I recommend moms experiment with hand expression to learn what motions work best for their individual breasts. Watching another woman hand express can also help you get the hang of the hand motions. Ask a friend who is nursing, or women at a local breastfeeding support if you can watch their technique. You might also be able to find some websites that show pictures or film clips of hand expression.

Good luck!PregnancyAndBaby.com

Tags: express hand


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