I encourage all expecting and nursing moms to watch this video from Stanford Medicine about Hand Milk Expression and how effective it is at increasing milk output and overall supply. Studies have found that mothers who use hand expression in addition to and during breastfeeding and pumping are able to get about 50% more milk output!
Hand expression is correlated with longer duration of breastfeeding, and better milk supply than when mothers use a breastpump alone for milk expression.
Additionally, hand expression is:
Can be very efficient for most mothers
Can be less uncomfortable or annoying than a breastpump.
For a few months I have been acquiring used pumps so that I can disinfect and evaluate their performance. I am (obsessively) testing the suction for each pump I service and am recording my findings as my own little research project (stay tuned for a post on this in the near future). For now, I want to focus on pump care and cleanliness. Everyone knows personal use pumps should not be shared between mothers, but why? Because they can transmit diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV? Perhaps. But what most people don't realize is that the pump motors can harbor bacteria, dirt, grime, insects, mold, and mildew! This photo shows a pump that I was not comfortable handling due to the apparent presence of mold and mildew spores, and it had to be discarded.
Don't let this happen to your pump! If you have a used pump from a previous child or one that you've been using for a while, contact me and I will check it for you! In the case of mold and mildew as with this...
This video from Stanford Medicine is a great one to watch for any new mother, and especially mothers who are concerned about milk supply, have premature and/or supplemented infants or infants who must spend time in the NICU, and latch difficulties. When an infant is unable to breastfeed effectively, and his mother needs to stimulate the breasts and express milk with a breast pump, building and maintaining an adequate supply can be a challenge. This video demonstrates some ways that pumping mothers can increase production without medication.