Maximizing Milk Production With Hands-On Pumping

Written by: Guest Contributor

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Time to read 1 min

When your baby nurses, you may notice that they tend to place their hands on either side of the breast and will sometimes massage the breast tissue during nursing. This can look like them opening and closing their hands around whatever part of the breast tissue they can grip onto. As the milk flow starts to slow down, they may do this massage to help get that milk flow going again as this hands-on manipulation helps the milk sacs that are holding the milk to fully release what is available to baby so they can have a satisfactory feed.

 

When we are pumping instead of nursing, we must then take that massaging into our own hands (pun intended!).

Pumping Technique:

  • When pumping, you need to replicate the hands-on massage to maximize milk flow.
  • Be mindful of the placement of the flange against the breast tissue to avoid disrupting the suction.
  • Begin massaging from the upper edges of the milk sacs, directing the movement downward towards the nipple.
  • Use light, firm touches, similar to stroking your baby's back.
  • Massage all around the breast, including above and below, either side, and across the diagonals.

Additional Tips:

  • Gentle compressions combined with pump suction can aid in milk removal.
  • Squeeze the breast tissue above the flange shield to empty milk sacs more effectively.
  • Simultaneously express milk from both breasts to take advantage of the natural milk release.
  • Consider using a pumping bra for a hands-free experience, allowing you to massage the breast tissue during pumping.
  • Dr. Jane Morton, a supportive pediatrician, emphasizes hands-on pumping to support milk supply.
  • A study by Dr. Morton suggested that being hands-on during pumping can yield up to 48% more milk.
  • Watch Dr. Morton's video tutorial on using hands-on pumping techniques to maximize milk supply.

 

Explore the provided video and combine the techniques mentioned to enhance milk release and quantity during pumping.

References