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Expressing Breast Milk: 4 Things You Need To Know

    For a new mum, there are a lot of things on the to do list, and it may seem overwhelming to some. Here is a tip that may help new mums who want to nurse their newborn.

    It is how to express milk.

    What do I mean by this? Expressing milk means squeezing milk out of the breast so you can store it and feed it to baby later.

    This can be a good idea if you: 

    • have to be away from your baby, for example, because your baby is in special care or because you’re going back to work
    • your breasts feel uncomfortably full and engorged
    • your baby is not able to latch or suck well, but you still want to give them breast milk
    • your partner is going to help with feeding your baby
    • Or you want to boost your milk supply

    Now, there are 2 ways that you can express. You can express milk by hand or with a breast pump. How often you express your milk, and how much you express, will depend on why you’re doing it.

    Expressing by hand allows you to encourage milk to flow from a particular part of your breast. This can be helpful if one of the milk ducts in your breast becomes blocked.

    The other way to express is by using a pump. There are 2 different types of breast pump: manual/hand-operated and electric. 

    Both ways of expressing are good, and it’s up to you to choose a method that you are most comfortable with if you will be storing milk. 

    The good news is that you don’t have to rush into expressing milk, so if you’re not up to it immediately, you can leave it for a few days. But if you do decide to get started right away, here are four useful things you need to know. 

    Tip Number 1 – Don’t expect too much in the beginning.

    When you express for the first time, chances are you are not going to yield a huge amount of milk. No cause for concern at all – its the early days and you’re still building up your supply and getting a hang on breastfeeding. Your body needs to get used to expressing. The key is to express frequently and consistently, so find times that work for you and your body and get into a routine. 

    Tip Number 2 – Good hygiene is essential.

    Always wash your hands before and after expressing. If you are using a pump, wash your pump after each use, and sterilize all parts once a day. It helps to get a storage box and keep your sterilized breast pump in it. And a tip for moms – keep your pump in the fridge will keep it sterilized until your next use.

    Tip Number 3 – Make sure you’re comfortable.

    The same goes with breastfeeding, you need to be comfortable to effectively express. Expressing by hand or using a breast pump won’t stimulate the relevant hormones the way your baby does, so it can take time to get started, which is why it’s important to be comfortable. Other things that can help with getting started are some deep breathing, visualizations, calming music or even thinking about or looking at photos of your baby!

    Tip Number 4 – Give your let down a hand. 

    Your baby stimulates your milk better than anything else. So, if your let down needs a little help, applying a warm compress to your breasts can help you. Massaging your breasts before (with a baby-safe, 100% all natural, chemical free moisturizer) and while you are expressing can also help with flow. Skin to skin contact with your baby can also help, and you could  try feeding your baby from one breast and expressing from the other.

    There you have it, four useful tips that can help you on your motherhood journey. Make sure to like, comment, and share with new moms that need a hand at expressing!

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