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Big breast expression tutorial By hand Milk flow
Original was uploaded on 2022-11-10
What is hand expression?
Hand expression is an alternative to pumping that can also remove milk from your breasts. Instead of using a breast pump, you use your hands to massage and gently squeeze your breasts to get milk out.
There’s a technique to hand expression, and it can take a little bit of practice to really get the hang of it. But experts agree that it’s a good skill to have, since in some situations, it can be a better option than pumping.
What are the benefits of hand expression vs. using a breast pump?
One of the biggest pros of hand expression is the sheer convenience. Unlike a pump, you don’t need any special equipment — so you can hand express your milk anytime and anywhere you might need to.
For instance, if you’re away from your baby for longer than expected and are starting to feel uncomfortably full, you can hand express for a few minutes just to take the edge off. Or if you’re trying to build your pumped milk stash, you can hand express briefly after feedings to get a little extra milk without having to set up your pump.
But convenience is far from the only benefit. Some other ways that hand expression can be helpful:
It allows you to get more colostrum in the days after giving birth. If your baby is struggling to latch early on, hand expression can help. Rub a little expressed milk on your nipple to help your baby latch — or express right onto a spoon and feed it to your newborn. Since this early milk is thick and sticky and there’s not much of it, the small amount you might be able to pump will likely end up sticking to the sides of the pump bottle.
It can help boost your supply. If you’re pumping in an attempt to make more milk, hand expressing for a few minutes at the end of a pumping session can usually yield another half ounce to an ounce.
It can keep oversupply issues in check. Pumping can be a good way to relieve fullness, but doing it too much or for too long can end up encouraging your body to make more milk — leading to an even greater supply and potentially upping the risk for clogged ducts or mastitis (inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes involves an infection). Hand expression is a good alternative; since it tends to remove less milk, it places less demand on your body to produce even more.
Of course, there’s no reason to commit to hand expression exclusively. Especially when you’re working, pumping is likely the most efficient (and most comfortable) way to get the milk you need and keep up your supply. But hand expression can be a complementary option for times when you don’t feel like dealing with the pump or don’t have one around