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A Step-By-Step Guide to Hand Express Breast Milk

Hand Expression for breastmilk is definitely a valuable skill for breastfeeding moms. It is simple and fuss free as compared to a normal breast pump.

During hand expression for breastmilk, a mother’s hands do provide the body with the tactile and sensory stimuli that helps to release milk. Warmth and massage from mom’s hands will aid release of breastmilk. Let’s share the simple steps to successful hand expression

  • Begin by gently massaging the breast to encourage a let-down

  • Position your hand on your breast with the thumb above and fingers underneath; about an inch to an inch-and-a-half behind the nipple, (the thumb would be at 12 o’clock and your fingers at 6 o’clock). Your thumb and fingers are directed across the nipple from each other.

  • Press or push your thumb and fingers directly back toward the wall of your chest.

  • Roll your fingers and thumb forward to squeeze milk out of the milk ducts. Do not slide the thumb or fingers along the skin, as this will cause soreness.

  • Repeat this sequence—position, press, and roll— until the milk flow ceases. Then move your hand so that the thumb and fingers are positioned at 11 and 5o’clock and do it again. Use both hands to work your way around one breast, then switch to the other side until you have emptied all of the milk.

It is always important to store expressed breastmilk in the right condition. Thus, it is recommended to mothers to:

  • Label the expressed breast milk with the date and time of collection.

  • To store in the freezer (temperature of -19°C), if you want to keep the milk for to 3 to 6 months; and to store in the refrigerator (temperature of4°C) for up to 4 days


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