Deal Breastfeeding Support Group

Hand expression
If you only need a small amount of milk, expressing by hand is a good way to start as it requires no special equipment and it is the cheapest way. Also, it is a good way to relieve engorged breasts.
  1. Wash your hands and prepare a sterilised bowl to collect the milk. (You may find it useful to place the bowl on a low surface or place the bowl in the bathroom sink and bend over it. – take breaks as you may find it puts strain on your back.)
  2. Place your thumb 4-5cm away from your nipple and your fingers below so they form a “C” around your areola.
  3. Squeeze your fingers and thumb together, pushing your hand back against the chest wall.
  4. Continue this process in a circular motion around your areola.
  5. If it hurts, your finger and thumb may be too close to your nipple.
  6. Once milk is coming out, collect it in the sterilised bowl, and then transfer into sterilised storage bottles or bags. Remember to make a note of the date when you expressed.

Please seek advice from your midwife or peer supporter if you need help with hand expression.

Expressing milk

Manual pumps

Electric pumps

How much to express

Storing milk