If you cannot breastfeed 257
If it is difficult for you to hold your breast, wear a
bra (brassiere) with a wide hole cut around the entire
nipple. You may be able to buy a ‘nursing bra’ made
to support the breasts and with a way to cover and
uncover the nipple for breastfeeding. Or you can wrap
some cloth around your chest and across your breast
with a hole cut out to expose the nipple. You can also
tie a length of rolled-up cloth around your upper body
under your breasts.
If you cannot breastfeed
If you are unable to breastfeed your baby, you may be able to remove milk from
your breasts by hand and feed it to your baby using a bottle or a cup. If you cannot
remove the milk by yourself, ask someone you trust to help you.
How to remove milk by hand:
1. Wash a jar and lid with soap and clean water, and leave them in the sun
to dry. If possible, pour some boiling water into the jar and then pour it
out just before using it. This will kill germs in the jar and keep the milk
safe for the baby.
2. Wash your hands well.
3. Put your fingers and thumb at the edge of the dark part
of the breast (areola), and press in toward the chest.
4. Gently press the fingers together and roll
them toward the nipple. Do not pinch or
pull the nipple. Removing milk should not hurt.
5. M ove your fingers all the way around the areola so the
milk can come out of the whole breast. Do this with each
breast until it is empty.
At first, not much milk will come out, but with practice, more will come.
If possible, try to remove milk every 3 to 4 hours, at least 8 times in 24
hours to make sure there is a good supply. You can usually remove more
milk if you are in a quiet, calm place and feel relaxed. Thinking about your
baby while you remove your milk may help the milk flow for you. If it is
hard to start the flow, try putting warm, moist cloths or towels on your
breasts and massage them before trying to remove the milk.
You may be able to get a breast pump to help you remove milk more easily.
Some clinics and medical centers loan or rent out electric pumps. They may
also sell simple hand pumps at low cost.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007