Breast Milk -- The Marmet Technique
Expressing milk by hand can be done to relieve
engorged breasts or to stimulate let down of
milk when you are ready to begin nursing. The
Marmet Technique, developed by Drs. William
and Martha Sears with the La Leche League International,
is an easy way to express breast milk.
Start by positioning the thumb above the nipple
and the first two fingers below the nipple,
about 1" to 1-1/2" from the nipple,
although not necessarily at the outer edges
of the areola. Use this measurement as a guide,
since breasts and areolas vary in size from
one woman to another. Be sure the hand forms
the letter "C" and the finger pads
are at 6 and 12 o'clock in line with the nipple.
This way, the fingers are positioned so that
the milk reservoirs lie beneath them. (Avoid
cupping the breast.)
Push straight into the chest wall, avoiding
spreading fingers apart. For large breasts,
first lift and then push into the chest wall.
Roll thumb and fingers forward at the same time.
This rolling motion compresses and empties milk
reservoirs without injuring sensitive breast
Avoid these motions:
Do not squeeze the breast, as this can cause
Sliding hands over the breast may cause painful
Avoid pulling the nipple, which may result in
Massage the milk-producing cells and ducts by
pressing the breast firmly with the flat of
the fingers into the chest wall, beginning at
the top. Move fingers in a circular motion,
concentrating on one spot at a time for a few
seconds before moving on to another spot. Spiral
around the breast toward the areola as you massage.
The motion is similar to that used in a breast
Repeat rhythmically to completely drain reservoirs.
Rotate the thumb and fingers to milk other reservoirs,
using both hands on each breast.