Expressing milk by hand is a skill that can be quite useful in some occasions. I’ve done it a few times on those times when I had to relive breast fullness but din’t have a manual or electric breast pump around.
This way of expressing milk can also be quite useful for moms that don’t get along very well with breast pumps and their plastic parts.
Here I will show you how to express milk by hand. Practice a bit in your home, even if you have a breast pump, you don’t know if you are going to need it some day! Remember to follow these steps with care.
Manual Milk Expression Tutorial
The first thing you need to do is massage the breast putting one hand on top and one hand on the bottom of the breast. This will stimulate the milk flow. It is very helpful being relaxed and in a comfortable position because that also influence the milk flow.
If you are stressed out and you are not comfortable, the milk will not come as much as it should.
Now grab a glass, sterilize it and put it under the nipple. Use the other hand to grab the breast: put your index finger about an inch above your nipple and the middle finger an inch below. Now press on the area with both fingers, don’t press on the nipple itself. Doing this shouldn’t produce pain, if it does, it means that you are doing it wrong. The only way to can feel strange -not painful -is when you are just starting to breastfeed.
You can alternate and use your thumb and index fingers if your hand gets tired. Use what feels more comfortable for you.
If you notice that milk isn’t flowing easily, just stop and massage the breast a bit more. You can also try this out later, when you feel more relaxed.
In the morning you get a better flow of milk, I recommend you do this to make hand expression easier.
Storing the Milk
Once you’ve expressed milk on the glass, you can store it using bottles in the fridge. Just be sure that all the bottles are correctly labels, with the older ones located on the front.
Milk stored in the back of the refrigerator can last to up to 5 – 8 days. Don’t put it on the door or it will last very few days. If you want your milk to last longer, you can store it in a standard refrigerator freezer, where it can last up to 6 months. Be sure to put it on the bak of the freezer though!
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