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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

3 Advantages of Expressing Breast Milk by Hand

3 Advantages of Expressing Breast Milk by Hand - #nursing #baby #motherhoodThere are many ways to express breast milk. It can either be expressed by hand, with a manual pump, a battery operated or electric breast pump, or a hospital grade pump (which are electric). Even with all the different types of breast pumps out there, knowing how to express breast milk by hand is a useful skill. It might take a few tries to get used to expressing breast milk by hand, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work the first time. The trick is to put pressure not on the nipple but on the milk ducts. Once you are familiar with hand expressing, it’s sometimes easier and more convenient than using a breast pump.

What are the advantages of expressing breast milk by hand?

  1. It’s convenient. Expressing breast milk by hand can be done anywhere and anytime. The only things you need are your hands and a wide mouth container. You don’t need any special equipment. You don’t need to worry about your battery dying or finding yourself ten miles away from the nearest electrical outlet when you need to pump. Best of all, clean up is easy! Just wash your hands when you’re done.
  2. It’s free! Hand expressing breast milk doesn’t cost a thing. If you are a SAHM, money might be tight, and breast pumps can cost anywhere from $35 to $2000 (or more).
  3. It allows you to focus on potential problem areas of your breast. Do you notice a harder area on your breast or a lump? You can work to express that milk out with your hands.

What are some times you would want to express breast milk by hand?

  • When your nipples are sore, cracked, or painful after you nurse. Just squirt some breast milk onto your fingers, rub it on your nipples, and allow to air dry.
  • When your baby has slept through the night and your breasts are engorged, but you don’t want to get out the electric pump. Just express some milk into a wide mouth jar and freeze it for later use.
  • When you are planning to go out of the house for a few hours’ shopping, for an appointment, or for a date.
  • When you make your baby food and need to thin it out or add additional calories. You can quickly hand express some milk directly into the blender for your baby’s food.

What are your experiences with hand expressing breast milk? Are there other times when you find it useful?

Sarah is a Christian, wife, and mother of two. She is a nurse by training but has stayed at home with her daughter for almost 4 years. During Sarah’s free time, you can find her knitting, sewing, and blogging over at her personal blog over: Wife, Mummy, Nurse.

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