Expressing


 

Once your milk is established (around 4-6 weeks) you may find there are times when you would like to express breastmilk with a breast pump. If you are trying to increase your supply this is a good time to also express straight after a feed.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding use, cleaning and sterilisation.

If you do need to express for whatever reason these bras are amazing to make your life easier!

How to use a hand pump

  • Stimulate the nipple by hand and start the milk flow by hand expressing.

  • Place the pump shield centrally over your nipple and hold it firmly against your breast, without digging in.

  • Use the pump gently but quickly at first–
    this helps with the letdown reflex and mimics what your baby does when they first start a breastfeed.

  • Once the milk is flowing use as lower speed but stronger suction.

  • There should be no pain or discomfort

     

How to use an electric breast pump
    1. Stimulate the nipple by hand and start the milk flow by hand expressing.

    2. Place the breast pump shield centrally over your nipple and hold it firmly against your breast, without digging in.

    3. Use at high speed but low suction at first
      (some pumps have an automatic speed setting).

    4. Once the milk is flowing, slow the speed back to medium and increase the suction to a comfortable level for you and helps the milk flow well.

    5. Your nipple should move freely in the breast pump shield, with little of none of your areola being pulled into the pump shield. The standard size shield is 24mm but if you find your nipple is not moving freely perhaps look at the larger shield size. 

    6. Express for 10–20 mins total or until the flow is reduced to drops.

    • If you are unsure about the breast fit, seek advice from a breastfeeding specialist.

    • There should be no pain or discomfort.

    • Double pumping( expressing both breasts at once) will decrease the time needed to express. This is a much more effective way to pump. Check out the Unimom Forte double hospital grade electric pump here. This is the only pump I will recommend.

    Expressing with a double electric breast pump 

    1. Follow steps 1–5 for the single breast pump.

    2. When you are ready, place the second breast pump shield over your other nipple.

    3. Express for 10–15 minutes total or until the flow is reduced to drops.

    4. Some mothers find that expressing both breasts by hand for a minute or so after using the breast pump helps to get a few extra mls and help maintain their milk supply.

    5. At any time you can use the pump as a single pump if you prefer.

    Purchasing a breast pump

    There are various things you should consider before purchasing a breast pump, such as:

    • if feeding is going well you may not need to purchase a breast pump

    • hand or manual pumps are intended for occasional use only

    • electric breast pumps are for more frequent use e.g. more than 3 times a day or for a long period of time OR to increase supply.

    • if you have a premature baby it is best to use a electric breast pump.

      The choice of breast pump for you is determined by how often you will use it. It is best to seek expert breastfeeding advice before hiring or purchasing any breast pump equipment.

      Breast pumps can be hired or purchased from me also - click here for more details.

    Cleaning the breast pump

    Breast milk storage guidelines for well and healthy full-term babies at home

    Storage conditions

    Storage time

    Handy hints

    In a room (< 26oC)

    4 hours

    Cover the breast milk and keep in the coolest place possible

    Fridge

    48 hours

    Store milk at the back of the fridge

    Frozen

    Freezer box in fridge


    Separate fridge/freezer

    Deep chest freezer

    2 weeks

    3 to 6 months

    6 to 12 months

    Use the frozen breast milk to mix with your babys food when you introduce this from 6 months