10 Dangerous Side Effects of Hand Pumping

Many mothers across the globe use this technique even though there can be some side effects of hand pumping. 

Hand pumping is a technique that uses human power/hands to express milk from the breast. In this method, the pumper uses their hands to massage the breasts to remove milk.

Furthermore, although this method is effective, many complain that the process can have repercussions. These dangers vary from one person to another and depend on many factors.

Therefore, it is vital to understand the dangers of this method before deciding to adopt it. 

Is Hand Pumping Better?

There are various methods of expressing milk from a lactating mother’s breast. Hand pumping is one of the techniques.

Research shows that most mothers prefer this method to mechanical and electric breast pumps because it is more effective and gives a personal touch regarding feeling the mammary glands.   

However, the choice of technique depends on the mother’s preferences. 

Will Hand Pumping Increase Milk Supply?

The milk supply of a lactating mother depends on several factors. In addition, it is also psychological and follows the mother’s mood. 

However, with all the factors constant, hand pumping can stimulate milk production since the person pumping has to massage the mammary glands.

Besides, those using electric breast pumps must also hand-express at the end to stimulate the glands. 

Therefore, it is true that hand pumping can increase the milk supply.

How Long Should You Hand Pump?

The period of hand pumping depends on the target. However, the mother can pump until she drains the breast’s milk flow. This process can take up to one hour, depending on the technique. 

Besides, the mother will know when to stop when milk stops coming from the breasts. 

What Happens If You Hand Pump Daily?

Hand pumping does not cause any complex or physical injury to the breast or body. However, it is vital to only do it as per the milk requirements of the child. 

Furthermore, the process cannot hinder future milk production in the breast. 

Does Pumping Every 2 3 Hours Increase Milk Supply?

Pumping frequency is an essential factor in increasing milk supply. Therefore, lactating mothers should express milk at least every 3 hours to maintain a stable supply.

study also indicates that the process helps stimulate the mammary glands to produce more milk. 

How Much Milk Should You Get from Hand Expressing?

The quantity of milk from hand pumping can vary from one lactating mother to another. However, on average, a mother should pump between 500ml and 750ml daily. This amount should be in bits throughout the day. 

10 Dangerous Side Effects of Hand Pumping

#1. Bruising

Bruising is one of the dangerous side effects of hand pumping. This symptom is mainly a result of the pumper not using the correct technique to massage the breasts.

However, it may also result from excessive force to massage the breasts. You can apply topical safe treatments for lactating mothers to help treat the bruises.

In such a case, it is essential to stop pumping until the bruises heal. 

#2. Discomfort

Another one of the dangerous side effects of hand pumping is discomfort. Besides, breast milk production usually is psychological, and the quantity of milk can reduce if the mother is uncomfortable.

Therefore, mothers must learn the technique and be comfortable before expressing themselves. 

#3. Pain

Pain is another one of the dangerous side effects of hand pumping. Besides, expressing milk from the breast should not be painful. Therefore, pain means the mother is not doing it correctly or using too much force. 

This symptom can also be a sign of infection and requires a doctor’s attention. 

#4. Sore Nipples

Some mothers have also listed sore nipples as one of the dangerous side effects of hand pumping. This symptom results from injury to the nipples when hand-pumping breast milk.

Therefore, it is vital to oil the nipples before conditioning the exercise. 

There are also several lubricants that serve this purpose. 

#5. Stress

In general, hand pumping can be stressful for a lactating mother. Besides, the mother has to use her hands to massage the breasts to express milk.

Stress can also affect the mother psychologically and minimize milk production.

Therefore, the mother must rest between pumping and breastfeeding sessions to minimize stress.  

#6. Headaches

Persistent headache is another one of the dangerous side effects of hand pumping. This symptom is also related to stress. The best remedy for constant headaches is frequently hydrating. 

The breastfeeding mother can also take painkillers with the guidance of a qualified health practitioner. It is also important to rest well in the process of breastfeeding. 

#7. Breast Tissue Damage

Another one of the dangerous side effects of hand pumping is breast tissue damage. This symptom occurs when the breast tissues are physically damaged or infected. 

In such a case, the mother needs to seek medical help. Furthermore, this symptom is alarming and can cause health complications. 

#8. Engorgement

Engorgement is another one of the alarming side effects of hand pumping. Research shows this symptom occurs when the milk does not entirely come from a lactating mother’s breasts. 

The best remedy for this scenario is to ensure the mother drains all the milk in both breasts when pumping or breastfeeding. 

#9. Blocked Milk Ducts

Another one of the surprising side effects of hand pumping is blocked milk ducts. A study shows that this scenario is where milk cannot flow freely through the breast during expression.

This symptom can cause a painful lump in a lactating mother. 

In such a case, the mother needs to seek medical help. 

#10. Breast Inflammation

Breast inflammation is another one of the dangerous side effects of hand pumping. Research shows this symptom is a scenario where the breast swells abnormally.

The side effects may result from physical injury of the breast or infection. 

In such a case, the lactating mother should seek medical help. 


Hand pumping is a technique used to express breast milk using hands manually. The method also helps stimulate the milk ducts to increase production.

Furthermore, it is a popular method for lactating mothers all over the globe since those using mechanical and electric breast pumps still need it at the end. 

However, there are some dangerous side effects of hand pumping. Most of these dangers follow the technique of the person pumping. In addition, breastfeeding mothers should be careful when using this method.

Therefore, seeing a doctor in case of adverse side effects is vital. But overall, hand pumping is effective and safe so long as the lactating mother follows the rules. 

[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]