Expressing your breast milk is a great way to give yourself a little freedom while making sure baby is getting the best nutrition. Our mums show you various methods and discuss which ones worked best for them.
Many mums choose to express they breast milk as it can make life easier and you can be confident your baby can still have the benefits of breast milk even if you are away from her. Whether you're just out for a few hours, or have gone back to work, your baby can carry on enjoying your milk while someone else is caring for her.
If you to be away from your baby for a long period of time, you will need to express your breast milk while you and your baby are apart. This is important as it will stop your breasts becoming too full and uncomfortable.
Expressing breast milk can also be a great way to increase your overall milk supply.
Expressing breast milk by hand is the cheapest way as you don't need to buy equipment. The trick of expressing breast milk by hand is to put pressure on the milk ducts behind your nipple, rather than squeezing the nipple itself. It's a useful knack to have and can help you to relieve your breasts if they're too full.
Many breastfeeding mums find it easier to use a manual or electric pump. To use an electric pump, you put a suction cup over your breast, turn the machine on, and let it do the work. The electric breast pump will extract your milk, depositing it in an attached container. Manual pumps also use a suction cup, but you'll have to repeatedly squeeze a handle to extract your milk.
It takes anywhere between 15 minutes and 45 minutes to pump both your breasts. You need to continually pump for as long as your milk is flowing well. Change breasts when the flow slows down, and pump each breast twice.
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