TECHNIQUE IS IMPORTANT
When watching manual expression the correct milking motion is difficult to see. Consequently manual expression can seem difficult - even after watching a demonstration or reading a brief description. This page will make it easy to understand. Milk can be expressed when using less effective methods of hand expressions but this technique should improve your results in quantity and quality.
When manual expressing the milk let-down reflex does not work as well when it happens naturally when breast feeding your lover. This method of massage and stimulation assists this reflex. The key to the success of this technique is the combination of the method of expression and the massage.
This technique is effective and easily can be learned by following this step by step guide. As with any manual skill, practice is important.
HOW THE BREAST MAKES MILK
(Draining the Milk Reservoirs)
1. POSITION the thumb and first two fingers about 1" to 1 1/2" behind the nipple.
* Use this measurement, which is not necessarily the outer edge of the areola, as a guide. The areola varies in size from one woman to another.
* Place the thumb above the nipple and the fingers below, in a 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock position, as shown.
* Note that the fingers are positioned so that the milk reservoirs lie beneath them.
Note the moving position of the thumbnail and fingernails shown in red in illustration. The arrows on the show the direction of the pressure the fingers apply. See that the fingers under the breast start with the pressure on the back most finger in the 'Push' and moves to the front most finger in the 'Roll'.
5.REPEAT RHYTHMICALLY to drain the reservoirs. Position, push, roll; position, push, roll.
6. ROTATE the thumb and finger position to milk the other reservoirs. Use both hands on each breast. The fingers will move from the 12 and 6 o'clock positions, to 11 and 5 o'clock, 2 and 8 o'clock, 3 and 9 o'clock. These pictures show hand positions on the right breast.
ASSISTING THE MILK EJECTION REFLEX
This will help with relaxation and will help stimulate the milk let-down reflex.
This procedure should be followed when expressing milk instead of a full feeding and when trying to establish increase, or maintain the milk supply when your nursing partner cannot be breast fed.
* Express each breast until the flow of milk slows down.
* Assist the milk let-down reflex (massage, stroke, shake) on both breasts. This can be done on both breasts simultaneously.
* Repeat the whole process of expressing each breast and assisting the milk let-down reflex once or twice more. The flow of milk usually slows down sooner the second and third time as the reservoirs are drained.
If little of no milk is present, follow these suggested times closely.
The ENTIRE PROCEDURE should take approximately 20-30 minutes.
* Express each breast 5-7 minutes.
* Massage, stroke, shake.
* Express each breast 3-5 minutes.
* Massage, stroke, shake.
* Express each breasts 2-3 minutes.
Note: If the milk supply is established, use the times given only as a guide. Watch the flow of milk and change breasts when the flow gets small.
There are many advantages to manual expression over mechanical methods of milking the breasts:
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