I enjoy writing these blogs and hope you enjoy reading them. Breastmilk is the best nutrition you can give your baby. In fact, breastfeeding gives you the power to protect your baby from many illnesses. However, sometimes new moms need to start off by hand expressing their breast milk for various reasons. There are many reasons why new moms should learn to manually express their own breast milk. Hand expression can give you as much breastmilk as a manual or electric breast pump. It takes a bit of practice however, you will get a good amount of breastmilk. If your breasts are too full, you can hand express some out and then allow the baby to latch on. Some moms find hand expressing easy while others find it more challenging.
There are many benefits for a breastfeeding mom to know how to hand express your own breastmilk. You can hand express when you feel: babily is too tired, feel engorged, have Mastitis or many clogged milk ducts. Find a comfortable place to sit to hand express your breastmilk. Start off by washing your hands . Find a container that is sterile to catch your breastmilk. Massage your breast by stroking downwards toward the nipple. Support your breast from underneath. Press your thumb and finger towards your chest. Space your fingers under your breast making a big C shape around your breast, about an inch behind the nipple. Roll your thumb and fingers towards the nipple to drain your breastmilk. Do this a few times. Squeeze then release. Keep the rhythm going. You can try to squeeze your breasts in different directions.
Experiment seeing where to squeeze and how much milk comes out. By squeezing your breasts, you are stimulating your milk ejection reflex, releasing the hormone Oxytocin in. Once you finish expressing, you can give the baby the breast milk or save it for another time, putting your breast milk in the refrigerator or freezer. When babies end up in the NICU, some moms choose to hand express their breastmilk. Try to sit near your baby because the baby stimulates your hormones that help with milk production. Some babies are too tired at first, therefore,hand expression your first milk, Colostrum makes sense. Additionally, what may seem like a small amount of breastmilk is liquid gold for your baby, packed with lots and lots of nutrients. A nurse or Lactation Consultant can help you learn the technique of finger feeding so you can do this in the hospital and even at home.
In conclusion, when hand expressing, remember practice makes perfect. Have patience and slowly you will learn the technique of hand expressing. Good luck and I hope it all worked out for you.