Breastmilk Expression is the process of taking out Milk from the Breasts by Hand or a Pump.
- In situations where baby is not directly suckling at breast ( eg Not latching, separated from mother at birth due to any reason, premature baby etc), its important to express out milk .
- It helps the mother with maintaining milk supply and preventing Engorgement painful over fullness)and Provides baby with mother’s milk.
How to Express
- The earlier one starts, the better it is.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before you start.
- Washing/ cleaning of breasts is not recommended.
- Wrap a warm, moist towel around your breast for 2-3 mins before expressing…it helps.
- Then gently massage your breast all around for 2-3 mins
- Then start expressing…. You can either hand express or use a good quality breast pump (Hand expression video can be seen at this link on www.drbaweja.com)
- Generally for the first 24-48 hrs hand expression is a more effective way to express the early milk or COLOSTRUM).
- Do not be in a hurry …Relax before you start, have a few sips of any warm liquid, keep taking deep calming breaths in between.
- Expression needs to be done regularly (every 2-3 hours) for at least 15-20 mins at each breast for you to collect some milk.
- During initial 1-2 expressions, you might just see a few drops of liquid , it can be of any colour or transparent…. If you Keep expressing regularly…It increases with each session.
- If baby isn’t suckling well at breast ( or not suckling at all) and you are not expressing out milk regularly, your breastmilk will keep pooling in your breast. It can cause lumps, overfullness and pain, Engorgement, diificulty feeding, difficulty expressing and eventually decrease in milk supply.
Dr Shacchee Baweja
(Interational Board Certified Lactation Consultant) Centre for Child Health
BLK-MAX Super Speciality Hospital (Please Call 011_30403040 for appointments)