Sometimes it can be useful to know how to hand-milk, also known as hand-feeding. This can help you relieve the worst of the pressure if your breasts feel tense, such as when your milk is curdled.
Perhaps you feel that the milk has flowed properly and your breasts have become very tense? Then it might be a good idea to try hand-feeding! It can also be helpful if your baby is overwhelmed by a strong expulsion reflex and your milk, to give your baby a more even flow of milk.
You can listen to the Baby Journeys podcast here.cast Mini Talk, where pediatric nurse Matilda gives her best advice and tips on breastfeeding.
Hand milking step by step
First of all, good hand hygiene is essential. Therefore, make sure you have washed your hands properly before you start hand-milking. If you want to collect the milk and give it to your baby, it is also important that you collect it in a clean container of some kind. Don't forget - the more you stimulate your breasts, the more milk is produced!
It is important for you to be relaxed in order to trigger the ejection reflex, and it may help to have your baby close to you or to think about them. Taking a hot shower can also help, but it may be difficult to collect the milk.
First, form your hand into a "C-grip" around your chest. Press your hand backwards against your chest, then gently squeeze your grip while slightly twisting your "C-grip" and bringing your fingers out towards the nipple. It is important that you try to embrace the whole breast so that you get all the milk ducts involved for effective emptying. You should therefore move the 'C-grip' backwards, together and forwards.
Remember that hand milking should never hurt. Be light but firm on the hand.
Here you can read about how often to breastfeed a newborn.