Think hand expression is unnecessary or too difficult? Dr. Jane Morton offers a free video that demonstrates how to teach mothers (or how to learn for oneself) the technique for hand expression of breast milk. When I interviewed Dr. Morton last March, she mentioned new research that suggests that hand expression used in conjunction with pumping in the first three days is much more effective in promoting subsequent milk production than pumping alone. She said if women were taught to hand express in the first three days after giving birth, their milk production could be boosted significantly and fewer women would experience problems (or unnecessary worries) over low milk supply. In the video, Dr. Morton explains that mothers separated from their babies have been shown to produce 80% more milk by using hand expression more than five times each day in the first three days in addition to using the electric pump!
Dr. Morton is Director of Breastfeeding Medicine at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH) and a Clinical Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. Along with other breastfeeding resources, she offers the seven-minute 33-second video in free streaming video format at LPCH’s Newborn Nursery site, or copies may be purchased through the email address mentioned on that page. Note that it takes a fast internet connection and a little patience to see the entire video. When the video froze occasionally, I needed to manually advance and rewind through those sections to see the entire thing. It’s worth it though!