How do I hand express milk?
Here is the best way to hand express:
- Choose a time to express when your breasts aren't too full. This will make it easier to get a good flow.
- Wash hands and prepare a clean area for expressing. A comfortable chair by the kitchen table is a good option.
- Have a clean sterilised milk collection container ready (or breastmilk storage bag). For beginners it is easier to use a collection bottle at first.
- Clean and dry your breasts. As you express, dry your breast as needed to help with grip.
- While massaging above your breast to promote let-down. Hand expressing can also be done right after baby nurses while milk is still flowing.
- Place thumb at top of breast and two fingers below, about 2-3cm away from the areola. Push and roll fingers toward the nipple, avoiding pinching.
- Continue the push and roll until a flow is established. Express each breast for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the flow slows down or stops.