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Women and Family Care

Hand Expression of Breast Milk

Milk may be hand expressed or with a mechanical pump. Hand expression doesn't require equipment and involves manually removing milk from your breasts. We encourage moms to use the Marmet Technique.

Why should I hand express breast milk?

We recommend hand expression soon after your baby's birth to help stimulate your milk supply. If you hand express milk before and after pumping, you may see an increase in your milk production.

Hand expression can be especially helpful when you don't have an electric pump with you or you don't have electricity. It's a "green" way to collect milk as it doesn't require electricity, batteries or other external power sources. It is free of charge and some moms say that it feels more "natural".

Hand expression tips

  • A warm shower is a great place to learn and practice hand expression.
  • Practice during a feeding after letdown has occurred, or after baby has nursed a little on the second side.
  • Do not try after a feeding when your breasts are less full.
  • Wait until engorgement passes because it is hard to learn on hard, tender, engorged breasts.

Hand expression does take practice. This video shows two new moms using hand expression in the hospital and it may help you learn how to hand express breast milk.

If you have questions about hand expression, contact WeeSteps at 970.495.8283.

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