Hand Expressing is a useful technique to learn, especially if it has been practised antenatally.
This is because:
- It is a more effective method of removing your colostrum in the first few days than breast pumps.
- You can tempt your baby to feed and help your milk start to flow.
- It can help your baby attach if your breasts are full, or to clear blocked ducts or to relieve mastitis
- Obtain milk to cup feed your baby if not able to breastfeed.
When are the best times to express ?
- About 30 minutes after your baby has been fed. (Express both breasts once or twice if required).
- In the morning after your baby's first feed.
- If your baby only takes 1 breast per feed, express from the unused one or both if more milk is required.
- In between feeds or when your breasts feel particularly full.
- When the baby is feeding from one side, express the other at the same time (this can be the most successful).
Some mothers find they can hardly express any milk at all and worry that they are not producing enough for their baby. How much you express may not bear any relation to what the baby is getting.
When I visit mums on the Ante natal Ward I always take along my trusty knitted boob to show them how to hand express, it is always handy to know and may be all that is needed, without buying an expensive pump.
I personally have always been rubbish at expressing, either hand or pump, hand expressing usually ended up with me spraying milk in all directions and pumping was somewhat of a disappointment, the only way there was ever a decent amount was when I expressed the other breast to what my baby was feeding from, but then you need about three pairs of hands to hold baby, hold pump, use pump....
To find out some other pumping stories why not head over to
- My Thoughts on Things
- Mixed Bag of All Sorts
- Life With The Pink Princesses
- Life Happens So Smile
- Seven Year Hitch
And not forgetting the fabulous companies that are providing fabulous prizes, including Breastmilk Keepsakes