Sunday, October 21, 2012

Expressing breast milk by hand and how to give your baby expressed milk

How to express milk from breast: Expressing milk means removing milk from your breast. You may want to express milk if your breasts are feeling uncomfortably full, or if your baby is not sucking well but you still want to give them breast milk.
If you have to be away from your baby – for example, because your baby is ill or premature, or because you are going back to work – you may wish to express milk so that somebody else can feed your baby.
You can express milk by hand or with a breast pump. Different pumps suit different women, so ask for advices to compare them. A pump needs to be clean and sterilized each time it is used.
Giving baby expressed milk   
Sometimes, your baby might need some extra milk, or find it hard to feed from your breast. In this case, your midwife might suggest that you give your baby some expressed milk in a cup.
Ask her to show you how. In this way, your baby is able to taste and begin drinking your milk.
You should not pour milk directly into your baby’s mouth.
How to express breast milk by hand    
It is more effective to express milk by hand than to use a pump in the first few days. If you want to collect the milk, you will need a sterilized container. The following suggestions should help:
1 Before you start, wash your hands thoroughly then gently massage your breast.
2 Cup your breast and feel back from the end of the nipple to where the texture of your breast feels different.
3 Using your thumb and the rest of your fingers in a C shape, squeeze gently about 3 to 6cm behind the nipple – this should not hurt.
4 Release the pressure then repeat, building up a rhythm. Avoid sliding your fingers over the skin. At first, only drops will appear, but just keep going as it will help build up your supply.
With practice, and a little time, milk will flow freely.
5 When no more drops are coming, move your fingers round to try a different section of your breast and repeat.
6 When the flow slows down, swap to the other breast. Keep changing breasts until the milk is dripping very slowly or stops altogether.
7 If the milk doesn’t flow, try moving your fingers slightly towards the nipple or further away, and try giving your breast a gentle massage.

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