Hand expression of breast milk is a great way to get milk out of your breast without using a breast pump. It can be especially helpful with early breast stimulation after birth, if you experience engorgement, increasing your milk supply, or getting your baby interested in latching by putting a drop or two of milk on their lips.
As a registered dietitian and lactation consultant, I’m going to walk you through this fairly simple process (for a visual demonstration, watch the video above).
Here are the steps to perform the hand expression of breast milk:
Massage your breast in a circular motion, working your way all the way around your breast. If needed, hold your breast with your hand on opposite side of your body for easy access to your areola and nipple. Your areola is the colored area around your nipple.
With your hand on the same side of your body as the breast you are expressing, place your thumb and index finger on the outside edge of your areola. Your fingers should be directly across from each other as if they were at “12 and 6” or “3 and 9” on a clock.
Press firmly, but gently, into your breast with those fingers, toward your chest.