Recently, someone on instagram commented, “Help! I went to go pump and nothing comes out! But if I squeeze the breast around the nipple, milk is there. Why won’t the pump draw it out?”
These days, it seems like the only two options presented to Moms are breastfeed or pump. The pump is a great tool in certain instances. However, it only applies suction! It’s missing the positive pressure component of the baby’s jaw moving up and down when latched. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate hands. Many women who don’t respond well to the pump alone do much better when they start using hand expression. I believe all breastfeeding Moms need to know this skill – that’s why I teach it in all my classes and consultations . It can be done alone or in a technique called ‘hands-on pumping’ (full video tutorial in my Pumping and Storing Breastmilk class). Here is a short clip of how to perform hand expression, either alone or with a helper. Remember, PUSH+PRESS+RELAX. PUSH against your chest wall, PRESS your fingers together, and RELAX your hand.
I hope this helps! More great tips and video tutorials in my video classes. I also have in-person consults and e-consults available to help prepare and support you in your goals, whatever they may be. I also have some in-person classes coming up in Highland, UT. If you’d like me to come to your area, email me! Make sure you are signed up for my newsletter for more tips and exclusive promos from me and my clients’ favorite products.
Thanks for coming by today,
Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC