Expressing Breast Milk
Essential skills for new mothers
Expressing milk involves extracting milk from the breasts in order to store it for later feeding to the baby. This can be done using either hand expression or a breast pump, depending on the preference of the mother. The expressed milk can be given to the baby immediately or stored in the refrigerator or freezer until it is needed.
Why would you express breast milk?
There may be several reasons why a mother may choose to express breast milk, including: If the baby is premature or has health issues that prevent breastfeeding, expressing milk can provide a source of nutrition.
If you would like to return to work or school, expressing milk allows you to continue providing breast milk for your baby.
Expressing milk can provide relief for breasts that feel overly full.
If your baby has difficulty latching on or sucking effectively, expressing milk can allow you to feed your baby in other ways.
Expressing milk can help increase milk production.
It is generally recommended to wait until breastfeeding is well established before regularly expressing milk. This helps ensure that both the mother and baby are comfortable and confident with breastfeeding.
Tips on Expressing Milk Manually
Try massaging your breasts or applying a warm compress before expressing milk. This can help stimulate milk flow and make it easier to express milk manually.
Experiment with different positions to find what is most comfortable for you. Some women find it easier to express milk while lying down, while others prefer to sit upright.
Use a gentle touch and avoid applying too much pressure on the breast, as this can cause discomfort or even damage to the breast tissue.
Use a clean, sterilized bottle or cup to collect the expressed milk. Avoid using a container previously used for storing infant formula or any other substances.
If possible, try to express milk at the same time each day, as this can help establish a regular milk production schedule. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy, balanced diet to ensure that you produce enough milk.
Essential skills for new mothers
Tips on Expressing milk with a manual or electric pump.
There are two types of breast pumps: manual and electric. Manual pumps require the manual squeezing of a plunger to extract milk, while electric pumps do the work automatically. It is important to read the instructions and familiarize yourself with the breast pump before using it.
All parts of the breast pump, including bottles, valves, and funnels, should be cleaned and sterilized before use to ensure that they are safe for use. If the baby is in the hospital due to illness or prematurity, the midwife can assist with cleaning and sterilizing the equipment.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the use and proper cleaning and sterilization of the breast pump.
- Choose a breast pump that is comfortable and effective at extracting milk.
- Massage your breasts or apply a warm compress before pumping to help stimulate milk flow.
- Use a clean, sterilized bottle or cup to collect the expressed milk, and label it with the date it was expressed. Store the expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.