Due to medical interventions or physiology some mother‘s milk may not come in for 3 to 5 days after birth. So how do you feed your baby? Hand expression!! You can actually begin while around 37 weeks for a few minutes a day.
***** always consult with your doctor first
Thehand expressiontechnique is particularly effective when infants have trouble latching on to their mother’s breast shortly after birth.When mothers use their hands as well as their pump to express milk, they pumped an average of 48 percent more milk than the pump alone could remove. This milk also contained twice as much fat as when mothers used only the pump.
Hand expression causes the hormone oxytocin to flow which will cause labor contractions. So it’s pertinent to wait until closer to your due date.
Hand expressed milk can also serve as a supplement, instead of formula, if baby is not latching properly or right away. We suggest cup feeding. This way baby doesn’t have nipple confusion when baby does begin to breastfeed again.
Hand expression can be more effective than an electric pump. There is nothing like the suckling of a baby and the power of your fingers. Again, when you hand express, oxytocin is released and so is your milk. As you begin to express your milk, you’ll get to know your breasts when they’re full and empty. Emptying your breasts is key to maintain your milk supply.
How to Hand Express
Before you start, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Some mothers find gently massaging their breasts before expressing helps their milk to let down.
Cup your breast with one hand then, with your other hand, form a “C” shape with your forefinger and thumb.
Squeeze gently, keeping your finger and thumb near the darker area around your nipple (areola) but not on it (don’t squeeze the nipple itself as you could make it sore). This shouldn’t hurt.
Release the pressure, then repeat, building up a rhythm. Try not to slide your fingers over the skin. Drops should start to appear, and then your milk usually starts to flow. If no drops appear, try moving your finger and thumb slightly, but still avoid the darker area.
When the flow slows down, move your fingers round to a different section of your breast, and repeat.
When the flow from one breast has slowed, swap to the other breast.
Keep changing breasts until your milk drips very slowly or stops altogether.
Hand expression takes an extreme amount of confidence and knowing your body. Unfortunately, some women, have dealt with sexual trauma, view their breast as sexual objects and thinks breasts should only be handled by their partners. If you have experienced sexual trauma or violence please seek counseling. Mothers NEED to understand how your body works and that human touch is what activates the most powerful hormone,oxytocin, in order for you to breast-feed.
Early education is key so sign up for class today!