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Thread: relactation and hand expressing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    36

    Default relactation and hand expressing

    I recently relactated and im up to about an ounce a day by hand expressing. Im wondering what the protocol is for increasing supply with just hand expressing. I have a medela pump in style and it worked great for inducing but now that my milk is in it comes in drops and not streams/jets so if i try to pump it out half of it gets wasted in the parts. Im already on 30mgx3 of dom and 2mlx3 of fenugreek and more milk plus so now i just need to get my supply up. Ive noticed with hand expression i feel full and tender again about 10-15 minutes after im done and i was told that its bc i didnt get all the milk out and hand expressing wont do that..true?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,005

    Default Re: relactation and hand expressing

    Hand expression is generally much less effective than pumping at removing milk. If you want to continue to increase supply via hand expression alone, you are going to have to work HARD at it. That means removing as much milk as possible as often as possible until you meet your goals. Feeling "full" after hand expressing probably does indicate that you have left milk in the breast, and that is definitely counterproductive.

    I personally would continue to use the PIS or rent a hospital-grade pump. Yes, using a pump may mean "wasting" milk that clings to the sides of the collection tube... But you want to focus on your long term goal of increasing supply over your short term goal of collecting every possible drop. If you waste a drop now but in the end you have oz to spare, that beats saving every drop now and ending up not increasing supply as fast as you might be able to when using the pump.

    I suggest seeing a lactation consultant for pumping tips and to make sure your shields are a good fit. That can help you maximize output with the pump. And if hand expression is working for you, keep doing it! You can combine pumping and hand expression and thereby get even more milk than you would with just one of those options alone.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: relactation and hand expressing

    if im hand expressing to collect then pumping to empty do i still pump for 15 minutes or for 2-5 minutes after the last drops to increase my supply? also do i still do it every 2-3 hours (although i usually only make it to 2 hours before i feel the fullness, even with just milliliters at a time) or should i do it more often like every 1-2 hours?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: relactation and hand expressing

    I completely agree with Mommal. I think the pump does a better job of simulating a baby sucking at the nipple, and thus stimulating your breasts well. It sounds like you're doing great with it, though, and you're getting milk, which to me would be even more argument to switch to pumping pumping pumping! If that's what hand expression can do, I bet you'll do that much better with pumping! (And I agree, better to waste a few drops: the extra stimulation is worth it.)

    You should be pumping every 2-3 hours-ish, day and night, minimum. If you can do it more often, great.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

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