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How To Breastfeed - The Marmet Technique.

Manually Expressing 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 tissue.

Avoid these motions:
Do not squeeze the breast, as this can cause bruising.
Sliding hands over the breast may cause painful skin burns.
Avoid pulling the nipple, which may result in tissue damage.

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 examination.

Repeat rhythmically to completely drain reservoirs. Rotate the thumb and fingers to milk other reservoirs, using both hands on each breast.

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Disclaimer: All material provided at is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Consult with your doctor regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.