How many of you know the Hand Jive by heart? Did you perform it in Grease in high school, or jive in your living room with your friends? Maybe that’s just those of us who grew up in musical theater, but you were Born to Hand Jive, Baby! And now, as a breastfeeding parent, you were Born to Hand Express!
Hand expression has many benefits throughout your breastfeeding journey, and especially in the early days. It’s worth the practice!
Videos - There is more than one method of hand expression. I recommend trying different methods to find what works best for you. I am including several links to videos so that you can watch instructional videos and see it in action.
Babies are the best removers of milk from the breast, but once you’ve gotten good at it, hand expression is not far behind. After your baby is born, take a few minutes each day to practice and you may be surprised at how quickly your body responds.
You have hands - use them!
Do you use hand expression? How is it useful in your breastfeeding journey?
...a very good place to start. When we sing we begin with Do Re Mi, when we breastfeed we begin with position, latch, suck.
Welcome to the Lactation Life blog! Since this is my first blog post, I thought the perfect topic to discuss is Getting off to the Right Start in Breastfeeding. If you’re reading this post, you have probably already decided to breastfeed. You may be aware of the many benefits to both baby and lactating parent, and you’re looking for guidance on those first hours and days after birth. Becoming a new parent can be overwhelming, and while we ultimately learn by doing, there are a few things to know going into it so that we can be more prepared.
You’ll hear people say that breastfeeding always hurts at first and you just need to tough it out. Please do not suffer through pain! Yes, there may be some discomfort at first, however, pain is a sign of an issue. If you are having trouble latching, experiencing pain, or baby is not gaining weight, seek the help of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). An IBCLC is specially trained to help guide you through what is normal, assess you and baby, and work with you to determine the issues and solutions.
Breastfeeding is a natural part of life, but that doesn't mean there isn't a learning curve. I often tell parents that walking is natural too, but we fall down as we learn to walk. Seek guidance and help when needed, give it time to all come together, and enjoy those quiet moments with your newborn.
Cynthia Bischoff, IBCLC, is the owner and provider at Lactation Life, offering lactation consults in Maryland.