Breastfeeding Tutorial Mom Hand Expressing Hand Expressing Breast Milk

Hand Expression

About this activity

Moms can remove their breastmilk by hand without the need of special equipment. It’s easy and some moms find they can express even more milk by hand than with a pump. Learn how to hand express.

Mother holding breast

After you have nursed, you can try hand expressing to help stimulate your colostrum (“first milk”) and relieve any tightness you may feel in your breasts in those early days and as you continue breastfeeding.

Empty glass

Step 1:

Get a clean container for your breastmilk.

Step 2:

Wash your hands and gently massage your breast in a circular pattern, moving around the breast until you massage all areas.

Step 3:

Hold the clean container near your breast. With your other hand, place your fingers and thumb about two inches behind the nipple.

Step 4:

  • Gently press your fingers and thumb back toward your ribs.
  • Press your fingers and thumb together.
  • Relax your hand.
  • Repeat.

Rotate the placement of your fingers and thumb around your nipple to empty all areas of the breast. When milk flow slows down, switch to your other breast.

It may take a few minutes or tries before you see milk. Keep practicing and you will have an extra tool to provide nourishing breastmilk to your baby.