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Expressing Milk

For some women expressing milk can be an effective way of planning ahead, however, for others it proves to be difficult and frustrating task.

For some women expressing milk can be an effective way of planning ahead, however, for others it proves to be difficult and frustrating task.

There are two ways to express milk. They are:

  • by hand
  • by pump

By Hand

Expressing by hand is fairly easy and painless, but slow. Always wash your hands first and have a sterile bowl ready to encourage your milk flow, first warm your breasts with a warm, clean facecloth and gently massage the breast area toward the nipple, stimulating your nipples by rolling them between your finger and thumb. Squeeze the areola with both thumbs and forefingers and apply a little pressure. The milk should begin to spurt out.

By Pump

The breast pump is invaluable when you need to plan ahead or if you intend to supplement with formula. Pumps can vary in price; however, even the most basic inexpensive one will suffice. It is often possible to rent a pump if buying is not an option. Whatever the decision it is going to be considerably cheaper than buying formula.

Pumps can be manual or battery operated. A funnel forms a seal over the nipple and then you pump the milk out by suction. The milk collects in the bottle attached to the pump. It is important to sterilise the equipment before each use.

Storage

You can store expressed milk the same way as formula milk, in the fridge or freezer. Breastmilk keeps for approximately 24 hours in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer. Defrosted breast milk should be used within 12 hours.




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