Expression by Hand
Nursing Your Best
Using Hand Expression
Using hand expression can be a valuable tool to get extra colostrum after baby is born, remove milk, and help increase your milk supply.
Practice gentle hand expression so it is familiar when baby arrives. Don’t worry if colostrum doesn’t come out…focus on getting used to holding your breast and the motion. This way, if baby doesn’t latch right after birth, hand expression can be used to get colostrum for your baby. Make sure not to stimulate the nipple, and only practice a small amount at a time.
The Colostrum Phase
Use hand expression after feeding your infant to help increase milk supply for the long term. The more breasts are emptied the same amount each day, the greater the milk supply. Babies generally eat 8+ times in 24 hours, so hand expressing 5 times a day will help build milk supply for later!
The first hour after birth is especially important to help get milk supply and infant feeding off to its BEST start.
Continue to hand express to relieve engorgement, help infant latch, to help with nipple trauma/healing, and anytime milk needs to be removed, especially if you do not have access to electricity to use a breast pump.
Print these amazing handouts from Lactation Education Resources to use before and after birth.