Hands-on Pumping: Helps Mothers Make More Milk
Some mothers struggle to make enough
milk. This is often true when a baby is not
able to fully nurse and the mother needs to
use a breast pump. Combining pumping
hand expression and breast massage
(“Hands-on pumping”) has been shown to
increase milk volume by 48 percent.
What is Hands-on Pumping?
Hands-on pumping is a method helps the
breast drain each time you pump. This leads
to more milk, especially more of the fatty
hind milk that your baby needs to grow.
How is Hands-on Pumping Done?
ξ Start pumping with a hospital grade
pump as soon as you can after your
baby is born.
ξ Pump 8 or more times every 24
hours, including during the night.
ξ Massage your breasts before
pumping to help with let-down.
Massage both breasts using small
circles, like a self breast exam. Pay
extra attention to the outer part of
ξ Stroke both breasts from the outside
in toward the nipples. Use a light
touch to relax and help with your let
ξ Start your pump. Pump both breasts
and keep massaging. A hands free
pumping bra makes this easier.
ξ Adjust the suction to the highest
level that is comfortable for you. It
should not hurt! If you feel pain with
pumping, ask to see the lactation
consultant or breastfeeding resource
ξ Watch for sprays of milk and keep
pumping until the sprays stop. If
your milk does not spray, watch for
when the flow slows down.
ξ Finish by single pumping with
massage or hand expressing.
ξ Alternate sides and continue
massaging. Keep working on firm or
ξ You are finished when your breast
feels soft and well drained.
Where Can I Learn More About This?
For a video of hands on pumping follow the link below:
Video link: http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/MaxProduction.html
For a video of hand expression, follow this link:
Video link: http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/HandExpression.html
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7498