Be ready for the breast start to breastfeeding and an abundant milk supply by learning hand expression
Increase your maternal confidence in feeding your newborn
What is Hand Expression?
Hand expression is a lost art that benefits mothers and birthing persons with milk production. Using a gentle massage technique, hand expression has been proven to increase your milk output by 48%. It’s all in the power of touch. Familiarizing yourself with your breasts and learning to hand express during pregnancy builds maternal confidence in the early days when learning to feed your babee. Hand expression also teaches you how to efficiently drain your breasts to maintain your milk supply.
The Breast Friend Kit™️ was specifically created to teach pregnant and new honeys the gentle art of hand expression through colostrum collection during pregnancy. Hand expression can be utilized to increase output, build supply, empty the breasts of milk and relieve engorgement caused by inflammed ducts (plugged or blocked ducts) or more severe clinical cases such as mastitis.The kit includes a medicine cup w/lid, plastic spoon, 7 1mL syringes, tummy bead model, all natural nipple honey (balm), storage labels and QR code card for instructions.
Increase your milk output when pumping by 48%
There are studies that suggest antenatal expression after completing 37 weeks of gestation significantly improves postpartum lactation by early establishment of plentiful milk secretion. Hand expression preps the breasts, milk ducts and mammary glands for breastfeeding while also giving you a boost of confidence in feeding your infant and maintaining milk production. Mothers reportedly stating that their milk volume increased significantly on day one and two opposed to the normal three day delay. When hand expression is taught prenatally many honeys I've worked with have experienced less stress on feeding when their babee arrives because they know how to remove the milk to one, feed their babee while manually maintaining their milk supply. Studies also show a reduction on postpartum breastfeeding failures too when new mothers utilize hand expression in the early days.
Is Hand Expression/Colostrum Collection safe?
Yes, hand expression is safe for LOW RISK mothers starting at 37+ weeks. Read more here. The benefit of learning and utilizing hand expression prenatally is the colostrum you will collect. Collecting your colostrum during pregnancy has benefits for all women and their babees. However, it is especially beneficial for your babee if they are likely to have difficulties with feeding or maintaining their blood sugar levels during the first few days after birth. This may be because your babee: • is premature • is large or small for their gestational age • is a twin or triplet • has a cleft lip or palate • has Down’s syndrome or a heart condition.
Collecting your colostrum can also be beneficial for your babee if you: • are taking beta blockers to control high blood pressure • have developed pre-eclampsia during pregnancy • are diabetic or have developed diabetes during pregnancy • have polycystic ovary syndrome • have breast hypoplasia (a condition in which the breast doesn’t fully develop) or you have had breast surgery • have a raised body mass index (BMI) • plan to give birth by caesarean section
Fuel the next phase of breast milk sooner
Increase your milk supply up to 130% in the fourth trimester
How to hand express
Always wash your hands before expressing. Applying a warm compress to your breast or expressing after a warm bath or shower can help the flow of colostrum. Get yourself comfortable. Perhaps seated and leaning slightly forward but find what works best for you. Start with a gentle breast massage, stroking from the back of your breast towards the nipple to encourage the let-down reflex. Put your thumb above the nipple and your first few fingers below the nipple. You will be cupping the breast in a ‘C’ shape. With your thumb and fingers, feel a few centimeters back from the nipple. Press back towards your chest, then compress (press your fingers together), and release.Repeat this process. You may not see any milk expressed the first few possibly 10 minutes but continue building a rhythm. Press, compress, release.
It may be useful to look online for videos of hand expression techniques. There are many videos available to show you step-by-step instructions on how to express colostrum, click here.
How to store expressed colostrum
Ideally freshly expressed colostrum should be drawn up into the syringes immediately. Don't completely fill the syringes, leave a little bit of room at the top to allow for the colostrum to expand while freezing. Label the syringe with the waterproof sticker detailing the date and time of the first expression collected and your name to ensure correct identification. Place the syringe/s into the zip-lock bag before putting into the freezer. Ideally frozen colostrum should be used within three months of freezing but it is acceptable to keep frozen for up to 12 months in a deep freezer (-20 °C). Once thawed, it should be used within 24 hours.
How to warm expressed colostrum
Frozen colostrum should defrost in a refrigerator or in lukewarm water. Fill a cup with warm water (max 40 °C), then add your filled syringe
It should only need a few minutes to bring it to body temperature. Thawed breast milk left at room temperature should be fed to your baee immediately and discarded within one-two hours. Always check the temperature prior to giving the colostrum to your babee, you do not want it to be hot, you are aiming for body temperature.
Transporting to hospital?
Colostrum can be collected two to three times each day in the same syringe. You will need to store the syringe in the fridge between uses.
At the end of the collecting day, the colostrum can be frozen – place the syringe into a zip-lock bag before putting into the freezer. Label the syringe and bag (separately) with the date and time of when you expressed. The frozen colostrum can be stored for up to six months in the freezer. Once thawed, it should be used within 24 hours.
If you are in need of a bulk order of 25+ or more please email email@example.com for an invoice to be sent out.
Make more milk through hand expression, get your kit and book me to learn today, honey!!
Resources and Citations
Effect of Antenatal Breast Milk Expression at Term Pregnancy to Improve Post Natal Lactational Performance
Evaluating antenatal breastmilk expression outcomes: a scoping review with Diabetes
(No Premature Labor Effect) Effect of Antenatal Expression of Breast Milk at Term in Reducing Breast Feeding Failures