Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hand Expression

I mentioned yesterday that I use hand expression at times. I first learned how to do this when I wanted to increase my supply because I found out that breast compressions/massage coupled with my pump could increase output. I noticed a significant difference between when I did massage and when I didn't (to the tune of two or more ounces per breast).

There are two well known techniques for hand expression-- Marmet and Stanford. The primary difference between the two is hand placement. I found the Stanford technique to be the one that worked the best for me, but I have used both at various times.

One nice thing about knowing how to hand express was that even if I was without my pump, I could relieve pressure. Certainly I would be sad to see it go to waste (liquid gold people!), but there is only so much misery one can take!

When I started nursing less and traveling more (basically June 2009), I stopped packing my pump. The first time I had to relieve pressure. The second time, I did not feel anything. This time, I also have not expressed any milk other than one night to see if there was any there!

Another use for hand expression is prior to a woman's milk coming in, if she is having trouble getting her baby to latch, she could express in to a spoon and feed the colostrum to the baby! I find that amazing by the way!


Rebecca said...

Huh. I didn't know that bit about hand expression and increased milk supply. I'll have to try that if I ever get the chance to breastfeed again.

Melodie said...

I've never read a post on hand expression before. Thanks for this. I didn't realize there were "methods" of hand expression. I just thought you just "do" it. That's all I did.
I'm going to go ahead and link this on twitter.

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