The Smush™ Method: Hands-On Pumping to Double Your Output

How to do Hands-On Pumping to Get up to 50% more milk out!

Did you know that pumping only removes a FRACTION of the milk in your breasts?

The reason is simple… breast pumps only use suction.

Your baby uses both suction AND compression.

Hands-on pumping is a pumping technique that uses your HANDS in addition to the pump so you can remove lots more milk!

It combines the suction of pumping along with the compression of your hands and is one of the best-kept secrets in the world of breastfeeding.

…and it can potentially DOUBLE the amount of milk you can remove at each session!

hands-on pumping to maximize milk production and get the most breast milk out!

HANDS-ON PUMPING is a TOTAL game-changer!

Hands-on pumping was originally developed by Dr. Mortin at Stanford University to help mothers express more breast milk for their preemie babies in the NICU.

Studies show women were able to express 48% more milk than mothers using a pump alone by using hands-on pumping!

And not only that, the milk they expressed had a higher calorie and fat content because they were able to remove more of the thick hind milk.

Benefits of hands-on pumping:

  1. Pump more milk. Hands-on pumping better empties the breasts than traditional pumping.

  2. No-cost, no-risk. The only thing you’ll be adding to your routine is your hands!

  3. Pump milk out more quickly. Help speed up the pumping process by pushing breast milk out of the milk ducts more quickly.

  4. Help stimulate additional letdowns. More letdowns will help you release more milk.

  5. Increases your milk supply. Since hands-on pumping helps you maximize milk removal, you’ll also get the added bonus of maximizing the rate of milk production!

  6. Boosts the fat & calorie content of your milk. Hands-on pumping helps you provide more of the fatty hind milk that’ll help your baby grow.

Who is hands-on pumping for?

  • Mothers who are separated from their babies

  • Mothers with premature babies

  • Women with clogged ducts or mastitis

  • Any woman who pumps frequently

  • Mothers with babies in the NICU

  • Women who want to boost their milk production

  • Exclusive pumpers

  • Anyone who wants to pump extra milk

  • Women with low-milk supply

  • Women who want a freezer stash

  • Moms with babies who are struggling to gain weight

How to do hands-on pumping using the SMUSH Method™

When using the SMUSH Method for hands-on pumping you’ll be using your hands before, during, and after your pumping session to assist in milk expression.

The only equipment you’ll need is a double electric breast pump, a hands-free pumping bra and your hands!

SMUSH stands for:

S = Shake

M = Massage

U = Use a hands-free pumping bra

S = Smush and compress

H = Hand express


Begin by stimulating your breasts, shaking them, and waking them!


Do a quick round of breast massage to help stimulate your first letdown.

Use your fingers held flat against your breast and gently massage in a circular motion, similar to a breast self-exam. Pay extra attention to the outer edges of the breast.


You’ll need to be hands-free to properly do the SMUSH method.

As an alternative, you can also cut holes in a sports bra to hold the pumping flanges in place.


While pumping, use your fingers and thumb to gently but firmly smush and compress both breasts, massaging the milk towards the nipple. Work your way all around the breast tissue, paying special attention to any spots that seem hard.

Repeat until your milk flow slows to a trickle.

Here’s a helpful video demonstrating SMUSHING your breasts…


OPTIONAL - THIS tool can give your hands a break during the compression part.


After pumping, a quick round of hand expression is the critical last step to remove the hind milk.

Hand express until your milk subsides - usually after about 2-4 minutes.

Here’s a video demonstrating the art of hand expression…


2 bonus tips for hands-on pumping:

1. Experiment and develop your own technique.

With practice, you’ll find what works best for you. There is no rule except to not apply pressure so forcefully that it hurts.

2. Use the correct pump settings

Your pump setting is a personal thing!

Stronger suction does NOT mean that you will get out more milk.

To get the most milk out, your pump setting needs to imitate your baby.

In the beginning, use a faster speed with slightly lighter suction to mimic a hungry baby, then after the initial milk let down, change the speed to a slower setting and the suction to a slightly more intense setting to mimic the deeper swallows of a baby.


(Use the coupon code milkology1 to grab any of the following for free, just pay shipping!)

10 Pairs of Reusable Breast Pads

Pumping Cover

Related post about pumping: 7 Important Things Lactation Consultants Want You to Know About Pumping


Combining hand techniques with electric pumping increases milk production in mothers of pre-term infants. J Morton, JY Hall, RJ Wong, L Thairu, WE Benitz, and WD Rhine: Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA: Journal of Perinatology (2009) 29 757-764

pumpingStacey Stewart