Breast Milk & Hand Expression| What you need to know

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Breast Milk & Hand Expression

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed their little ones for 12 months, while the World Health Organization encourages women to offer breast milk for up to two years.

Even though breastfeeding is “natural” most women know very little about nursing, until trying it for the very first time. The truth is, you may have taken breastfeeding courses, read online articles, and hospital pamphlets but reading an instruction booklet just can’t teach you everything there is to know about breastfeeding, it’s easy to understand why so few moms express their own breast milk. In most cases moms simply don’t know how to or aren’t familiar with the benefits.

For instance, do you know these things about hand expression?

  • a breast pump extracts milk by using suction, whereas hand expression uses massage
  • hand expression is ideal for moms struggling with engorgement or nipple soreness
  • a mother can extract colostrum via massage when her newborn is having difficulty latching
  • the massaging motion expresses milk because it replicates the gentle way a newborn’s mouth  kneeds a mother’s breast

In this quick clip, it’s easy to see how a breast pump gently tugs on a mother’s breast to extract milk and the motion is quite different from massage. So, if your breast pump isn’t initiating let down or if you’re struggling with breast tenderness, hand expression might be the answer you’ve been looking for.

In our recent interview with The Bump, we were happy to provide some insight on how to hand express and how a warm breast soothie can help.  If you have the opportunity to read this wonderful hand expression article from Maggie Overfelt, it shares experiences of breastfeeding moms and practitioners, which can be helpful on your journey. You can find this information article here: The Bump and Hand Expression










small-photoWritten by Melissa LaHann, Founder and CEO of Happy Fig, LLC

Like many moms before her, Melissa cradled her hungry, crying baby as she clumsily adjusted her bra and sat uncomfortably holding up her shirt. Before she knew it, her baby was squirming, her shirt was falling, and the nursing session was interrupted. She needed a better solution, so she created LatchPal, the first nursing clip of its kind.

LatchPal is a breastfeeding shirt clip that holds up a mother’ss shirt during breastfeeding. It eliminates shirt re-positioning and feeding disruptions, and helps a mom nurse hands-free in comfort to maximize milk flow. LatchPal was designed with moms in mind. The multi-use solution only requires one hand to latch. It’s a must-have breastfeeding accessory and essential for post-partum moms, pumping moms, and nursing in public.

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