What is hand expression and how can it help my increase my milk supply? Hand expression is a simple and effective way any mom, anywhere, can express her milk and as result, boost her milk supply! This video demonstrates how the hand expression technique is performed.
To begin, you will want to form a “C” with your thumb and index finger. Position your thumb above your nipple, about 1 to 1 ½ inches away from the nipple. Next, bring your index finger around to the underside of your breast and position it about 1 to ½ inches away from the nipple. Your thumb should be at “12 O’clock” and your index finger will be at “6 O’clock.” Press your fingers together (into the breast tissue) and then forward (towards the nipple). Continue this pattern rhythmically until your breasts feel soft and you no longer see milk being expressed OR until you have achieved your desired goal.
Hand expression is wonderful for increasing milk supply because it is the closest thing to the way babies suck and remove milk from the breast. This technique can be even more effective at removing milk from the breast than a standard electric breast pump, when performed correctly.
In addition to increasing milk supply, many mothers will use this technique to express a few drops of milk before latching the baby on to the breast. Now, baby can smell and even get a little taste of milk on their lips before latching on. This often improves latch-on and may entice a sleepy or fussy baby to take the breast.
Other reasons you might want to use the Marmet hand expression technique while breastfeeding is to relieve engorgement or to add breastmilk to your baby’s cereal or pureed foods.
If you enjoyed this tutorial on hand expression, you might find our other breastfeeding tips useful, too!