How to Hand Express
Hand expressing is a helpful exercise for expressing colostrum in the early days, stimulating your milk production and increasing your supply, or to relieve full or engorged breasts.
- Begin by washing your hands.
- You can use any clean, sterilised container, such as a small cup. If you’re planning to give the milk to your baby immediately, you might like to express it onto a teaspoon.
- Get into a comfy position and try to relax to help the milk flow.
- Massage or shake your breasts before you start expressing to encourage the flow of milk.
- Cup your thumb and fingers around your breast in a C shape, away from your nipple, back behind your areola.
- Press your thumb and fingers back into your chest.
Compress your breast between your thumb and fingers, rolling them forward towards your nipple with slow, steady pressure. Avoid dragging your fingers over the skin.
Release the pressure and continually repeat steps six and seven again to build up a rhythm.
You may not get any or much milk at first but with time and practice your drops will become free flowing milk.
When the flow slows or stops, reposition your hand to compress the other milk ducts and repeat until the breast is drained.