Once your little darling enters your world, you become engrossed in him. Your life revolves around feeding him and taking care of him and his smallest needs for the first few months. One of the most important challenges that you face is breast feeding your little baby. It is imperative that you continue breast feeding your baby exclusively for the first six months. Even though breast feeding the natural way is always the best method, expressing by hand is also quite useful during an emergency situations. Many women hand express milk in order to ease engorgement, avoid let down and save breastmilk to be used later. Read below to know all about expressing milk by hand.
Expressing breast milk by hand is a skill that you need to master and this can be done with practice. You need to be proficient in this skill so that you are able to express maximum quantity of milk with least effort and minimum wastage of time. Milk is normally produced in milk creating cells that are known as Alveoli. When you stimulate the Alveoli, milk gets expelled to the milk ducts by reflex known as milk ejection reflex. A lot of women find expressing milk by hand more comfortable than using a breast pump. Expressing milk by hand can be done anywhere, and requires no special tools or devices.
There are numerous benefits of expressing milk by hand as compared to using a breast pump. Some of the benefits are:
Although manual expression is not as easy as it sounds, once you master the skill of expressing milk by hand, it is one of the best and cheapest method of expressing milk. Instead of just squeezing the nipple, the trick lies in pressurizing the milk ducts located behind the nipple that ensures that milk is ejected without any hassles.
Let us walk you through all the steps involved in expressing milk by hand:
All the above mentioned steps are sure to help the reflex of milk ejection and will surely make the process of expression of milk by hand much simpler and faster.
This is one of the most popular techniques used universally to ensure that milk is expressed by hand effectively It was Chele Marmet, a mother, who came up with this wonderful technique as she needed to express her milk over a long period of time for medical reasons. Moms who have tried and tested various methods and met with failure swear by this method of expressing milk. It is no doubt one of the most commonly resorted techniques of milk expression by hand that has excellent success rates all over the world. Just try and get the hang of this wonderful method that is a combination of stimulating via stroking, massaging and shaking and then expressing milk by positioning, pushing and rolling your nipples.
Make sure you:
Normally the entire Marmet technique takes around half an hour altogether and once you get familiarized with the technique; it becomes much faster and easier too.
To store the expressed breastmilk you can either use plastic feeding bottles which have secure tops in order to ensure proper sealing. Other ways of storing breastmilk are using plastic bags that are specially made for storing breast milk or you can even use baby bottle liners. Always remember to write the date on the bag or bottle before you put it in the fridge or freezer. This will help you in using the oldest ones first.
Freshly expressed milk can be stored for:
Remember that freezing breastmilk destroys some of its antibodies that help fight infections in your baby. So it is better no to freeze your expressed milk for a longer time and use it within the time limits. Frozen breastmilk is still much healthier than the formula milk for your baby.
Frozen milk can be thawed in any of the following ways:
Don’t be in a hurry to thaw the breastmilk. Using a microwave or hob to thaw it will ony detroy all the nutrients in your breastmilk. As soon as the milk is thawed, use it right away and through away if anything is left. The baby would have got mixed with your baby’s saliva and may not be hygienic for next use.
These simple tips are sure to help you cope up with expression of milk manually and help you store your milk for the little one in case of an emergency.
Hope this article provided you the much needed information about expressing by hand. If you have anything to add, please share it in the comments section below.