The Marmet Technique

One of the earliest writings on the Marmet Technique, a form of manual expression used to drain the breast milk reservoirs, was published in 1978 by Chele Marmet and the Lactation Institute of Ventura, California, and some women are now using this as a form of inducing lactation.

1. Position the thumb (above the nipple) and first two fingers (below the nipple) about 1” to 1–1/2” from the nipple, though 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.

• Avoid cupping the breast

2. Push straight into the chest wall

• Avoid spreading the fingers apart.

• For large breasts, first lift and then push into the chest wall

3. Roll thumb and fingers forward at the same time. This rolling motion compresses and empties milk reservoirs without injuring sensitive breast tissue.

4. Repeat rhythmically to completely drain reservoirs.

• Position, push, roll…

• Position, push, roll…

5. Rotate the thumb and fingers to milk other reservoirs, using both hands on each breast.

Avoid These Motions

1. Do not squeeze the breast, as this can cause bruising.

2. Sliding hands over the breast may cause painful skin burns.

3. Avoid pulling the nipple which may result in tissue damage.

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