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3 Tips on Expressing Breast Milk

Pick up some tips on expressing breast milk from lactation consultant Melissa K. Nagin in this Howcast video.


A lot of moms choose not to use a breast pump at all, and they would rather hand express. That is excellent because you always have your hand, and you always have your breast, and it's always right there, and there's nothing to hook up.

When you're hand expressing, you do not want to do what I see a lot, which is just the squeezing of the breast. That's not going to do anything. You want to mimic exactly what the baby is doing.

So the baby, when they're latched on properly, are going to be about a half an inch to an inch beyond the nipple, the tip of the nipple.

So in the case with hand expression we want to put our thumb at 12:00 at the areola, which is the darker part of the breast, the pigmented area. 12:00 and 6:00 we're going to push back against our rib cage together toward each other and then forward.

That will be able to pull the milk down just like the baby does. If we just squeeze the breast, nothing really is happening. The milk ends up in the little reservoir around the nipple, and nothing's coming out.

So in order to hand express, you can do it right into one of these storage bags. You can do it into a bottle. You can do it into a cup. It really doesn't matter. It's a very easy method if you don't want to hook anything up and if you just want to be able to use your hands.

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