All mothers of unwell, preterm and full term babies in a neonatal intensive care environment should be supported to provide breastmilk for their babies. It is vital that an adequate supply be established early. The aim of expressing is for the mother to establish a good milk supply in the beginning for the long-term needs of her infant.
The hand expression of breast milk, also called manual expression, is a technique where you use your hands instead of your baby or a breast pump to get the breast milk out of your breasts. You may wonder why anyone would want to express their breast milk by hand when they could use a breast pump. While most women will use a breast pump, especially if they need to pump very often, hand expression is still a valuable skill to learn.
Getting Ready First wash your hands well. Find a clean collection container with a wide mouth, like a cup. Or, you can express your milk into a spoon and feed it directly to the baby.
Breast pumps are a modern day miracle, but hand expression can definitely come in handy. Even when their milk "comes in," some mothers find hand expression more efficient and comfortable than pumping: It makes them feel more control over the process, and many find it more relaxing than being hooked up to a machine. And what about those times when you forgot your pump, your pump is malfunctioning, or your power has gone out? Hand expression to the rescue!
You can use it to stimulate milk production if you need to increase your supply, and to provide milk for your baby. You can also combine hand expressing with pumping — read more about pumping here. Hand expression is often used for antenatal expression of colostrum — read more here.
Federal government websites always use a. Pumping and hand expression can be great tools for breastfeeding moms. Learn what each one is, when you may need to do it, and what you need to get started.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, milk expression by hand is a useful technique to learn. You can also use it to stimulate milk production and provide milk for a baby who is not breastfeeding well or needs more milk. Why hand expression?
Many women hand express milk to reduce engorgement,  prevent let down, and save milk for later use. For some women, hand expression can be a more comfortable alternative to breast pumps. The process can be done anywhere, and without special tools or devices. It has also been shown to help the breasts produce more milk; some women's breasts express milk more easily through skin-to-skin contact than through the use of a plastic pump.