WHY THE HAND IS BETTER THAN THE PUMP
Working mums, and even the most devoted of stay-at-home mums, aren’t always able to be physically present to breastfeed their babies directly. The next best thing to ‘straight from the source’ is to handexpress breastmilk. Though electrical breast pumps are convenient and effective for some mothers, others may not respond to the electrical pump and may have to opt for hand expression. In fact, there are distinct advantages to manually expressing breastmilk.
Typically, the areola responds more effectively to the touch of the hand than the pump fange. “The breasts are more responsive to the skin-to-skin feeling of hand expression,” said Ms Kang.
WHEN, WHERE AND WHY
Aside from catering to babies’ needs upon a planned return to work, manual expression is recommended in the frst few days after delivery when the colostrum is thick and sticky, and also when the mother has sore nipples, engorgement of the breasts or blocked milk ducts.
In addition, it is often helpful for mothers with poor letdown or low milk supply, as manual expression generally results in a faster letdown than using a breast pump.
Manual expression also enables mothers to check their own breasts for lumps, which are almost always due to plugged or blocked milk ducts. Upon detection, these blockages can be usually cleared with manual massaging and expression.
In short, nothing beats the human touch when expressing breastmilk.
How to Express by Hand in 12 Steps
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