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VI-A. Manual breast pump options: By-hand manual pumping




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This article is from the Breast Pumps FAQ, by bweiss@cs.arizona.edu (Beth Weiss) with numerous contributions by others.

VI-A. Manual breast pump options: By-hand manual pumping

REALLY MANUAL: Finally, I strongly recommend that anyone considering
expressing milk learn how to manually express with no pumps -- just
your own hands. Even if you're sure you're only going to be using a
pump (as I was), it's really nice to know how to get your milk to let
down manually. Frankly, pumps just don't feel the same as a baby, and
I find they don't always trigger a good let-down. On those occasions,
a combination of using the pump and manually expressing works really
well for me. I learned through a video at my HMO; I imagine La Leche
or other support groups could recommend books, videos, or workshops.

If you want to use manual expression as your only means, they make
specially-designed funnels to catch the milk that attach to a bottle.
I've seen them in the Motherwear; they're probably available elsewhere
as well. They say it comes with "complete instructions for hand
expressing". (Mar 95: $9)
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When my daughter was born 5.5 years ago, I tried one of those cheap
manual pumps. Ouch! Maybe I didn't stick with it, but I just
couldn't find a comfortable, non-messy way to do it. I finally found
that I could express by hand much faster and easier. Still pretty
messy!

Anyway, I only nursed for about 4 months and only pumped occasionally.
I would be surprised if a motorized pump would be much easier on you
than your own hands.
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I didn't really dedicate myself to learning this method until my 3rd
child, and wish I'd started earlier. You can use it anywhere you have
a little privacy, there is virtually no clean up, it doesn't require
anything more than a bottle or cup, it is quiet, and you can get as
much or as little as you need. A great method, but more tiring and
sometimes slower than is practical at work 2 or 3 times a day. Very
effective - the only way I got better emptying was direct nursing. It
definately takes practice.

 

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