Hands On Pumping



Hands-on pumping is a combination of breast massage, breast compressions and hand expression all working together to help further empty the breast while expressing milk.

Research shows that hand expression prior to, and after using a breast pump can increase the amount of milk expressed by up to 40 percent.

Equipment Needed:

• Breast pump
• Hands-free bra (optional)
• Heat pack (optional)
• Clean Hands


  1. Begin with gentle breast massage for a few minutes.
    There isn’t a specific, correct way to do this, but breast massage involves gently kneading with circular movements over the surface of your breast starting a cascade of hormones to get the milk flowing.
  2. Perform hand expression for two minutes on each breast.
  3. Pump both breasts for 15 minutes.
    While pumping, massage and compress breasts alternately to help increase the rate of flow.
  4. After pumping, hand express again on each breast for about one minute.
    These times are all estimations. Make adjustments as you find the combination that works best for you.

Follow Up:

Work with a qualified lactation professional for more detailed instruction on successful pumping. 


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