Many mothers choose to express their breastmilk. She may be trying to increase her milk supply, she may be going back to work and still want their baby to keep having the benefits of breastmilk, or so her husband can help out with the night time feeds. Whatever a woman’s reason, expressing milk can be great for baby and for mum.
There are basically two ways to express breastmilk, by hand or with a pump. You can either use an electric pump or a manual pump. Either way, follow these simple expressing breastmilk tips to express your milk efficiently and with ease.
* Make sure you are sitting comfortably with your back straight whilst you are expressing milk either by hand or with a pump.
* If your breasts are very full and heavy, it is advisable to relieve your breasts by hand before using a pump.
* If you are using a pump ensure your nipple is in the centre of the pump, being off-centre may cause your nipple to become sore and your milk won’t flow as freely.
* Always maintain a tight seal around your skin with the edge of the funnel as any air gaps will not make as effective pumping.
* Be patient as it may take a couple of minutes for your milk to start flow well. Breast pumps mimic the sucking action of a baby by stimulating the milk to come in (letdown reflex).
* Always support the breast you are pumping with your other hand.
* Wait until your milk flow starts to slow down until you move onto the other breast.
* If you are using a double pump, pump both breasts at the same time, wait until the flow starts to wane and then stop for approximately 30 seconds. Then pump for a second time until the flow starts to slow down again.
* Breast milk can be stored in a fridge of 4 degrees Celsius or lower for up to five days, in the freezer compartment of a fridge/freezer for up to two weeks, and for up to six months in a deep freezer of minus 18 degrees Celsius or lower.