Hand (manual) expression of breast milk

Massage your breast to help your milk "let down," using one of the following techniques:

  1. With both hands, slide your hands from your chest toward your nipple, but not touching your nipple.
  2. With your fingertips, massage in a circular motion all around your breast.
Illustration of Hand (manual) expression of breast milk
Illustration of Hand (manual) expression of breast milk

Illustrations copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

To express milk:

  1. Grasp the dark circle around the nipple (areola) with your thumb above and one or two fingers below. Push in toward your chest wall, then squeeze gently, slowly rolling your fingers toward your nipple but not onto your nipple.
  2. Rotate your fingers around the breast and repeat the process to drain the entire breast. Collect your breast milk in a clean container. Refrigerate or freeze the milk if you are not going to use it immediately.

Last Updated: May 4, 2009

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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