In the first hours and days after birth (in some cases even before birth) you may need to hand express to collect colostrum for feeding your baby, this may be needed in case of separation between mother and baby, if the baby is sleepy, in late pre-term babies, in cases of low glucose or Jaundice, and after a C section.
Hand expressing colostrum and milk in the first days may actually be more productive than breast pumping.
Also when everything is going well, hand milk expression between feeds on the first hours and days postpartum was shown by research to improve production, improve milk volumes, enhance milk coming in and improve baby’s weight gain, and improve overall breastfeeding success.
Hand milk expression can be an efficient way to reduce breast engorgement and prevent milk stasis, therefore helping prevent breast inflammation.
Hand expression done correctly should not be painful. It may take several trials to get comfortable. Don’t expect more than a few drops initially, it is OK! It improves with every drop and with practice.
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