Breastfeeding 101: Learning How to Hand Express

  • Aug 05, 2019
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Are you a first-time mom? Motherhood can be both a fulfilling and overwhelming process. You may see yourself today shopping for baby carriers in Malaysia, while tomorrow you are just at home, dealing with breastfeeding problems. It’s all part of the journey. All you need to do is research on the things you need to know to make your baby happy and healthy. One of the things you need to focus on is hand expressing

Why do you need to learn how to hand press?

  • In order to sustain breast milk production, when your child is not suckling
  • To get milk if your baby can’t breastfeed, or if she gets tired easily
  • When you are travelling, and is separated from your baby
  • To donate milk for a milk bank
  • If the mom is HIV-positive, hand pressing can help pasteurize the milk for the newborn
  • To relieve engorgement, and for overall breast comfort
  • To encourage the baby to breastfeed
  • To soften the breast’s areola so the infant can attach

Several mothers prefer to hand express instead of using a breast pump because of the following:

  • Hand expression is typically gentler compared to breast pumping, more especially if the mom has a sore nipple. 
  • There is lesser risk of cross-infection, since the mom doesn’t utilize any equipment that is also handled by other people.
  • Hand expression is quick and effective, when the mom is experienced.
  • Many moms prefer skin-to-skin stimulation, or kangaroo care, from hand expression instead of the sound of a pump, and the feel of plastic.

How would you know if it’s time to express?

If your baby cannot suckle, start hand expressing after birth. 

How long should you hand express? 

  • The entire length of time would depend on why reason why mother is expressing. 
    • If there is the need to express in order to get colostrum for the baby who can’t suck, then it’s possible to express for 5 to 10 minutes straight to get just one teaspoon of colostrum. 
Category: Baby