Skip to content

    Women's Health

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Hand (Manually) Expressing Breast Milk

    Collecting breast milk by hand (manual expression) is one way that allows you to feed your baby breast milk in a bottle. You may need to do this if you are going back to work, you will be away from your baby during a feeding time, or your baby cannot breast-feed.

    h5551191.jpg

    h5551193.jpg

    Illustrations copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

    Hand (manual) expression

    Hand (manual) massage and expression of breast milk is the removal of milk from the breast using massage. Manual expression is simple and requires little equipment. But it does not empty the breasts as completely as breast-feeding or pumping.

    To express milk manually:

    • Wash your hands.
    • Massage your breast with both hands, sliding your hands from the outer areas of your breast toward the nipple.
    • Grasp the dark circle (areola) with your thumb above and one or two fingers below. Push in toward your chest wall. Then gently compress while rolling your fingers toward your nipple (but not on your nipple).
    • Rotate your fingers slightly around the areola and repeat the massage to drain the entire breast. Collect your breast milk in a clean container. Refrigerate or freeze the milk if you are not going to use it immediately.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
     
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    insomnia
    Is it menopause or something else?
     
    woman in bathtub
    Slideshow
    period
    VIDEO
     
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    Slideshow
    estrogen gene
    Quiz
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    Slideshow
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Quiz
     
    question
    Assessment
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
    Quiz