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How to Express Breastmilk ?


Expressed breast milk means milk expressed from the breast using manual manipulation or using a breast pump.

During confinement, I will breastfed directly during the day. At night, the confinement lady will fed my baby using baby bottle so that I can rest. Sometimes, my husband will help to fed the baby with the bottle too. When started to work again, my baby will be bottle fed when away from me and directly breastfeed when together.

According to breastfeeding expert, baby will need some time to get used to expressed milk. He will also need time to get used to being fed milk from a cup/spoon by the person caring for him while you are at work. At least 2 weeks before going back to work, start replacing one breastfeeding session a day with expressed milk. You can increase the frequency every few days. Once you have started working again, you can fully breastfeed on weekends and keep Friday’s expressed milk for Monday.


Using manual manipulation/ hand

Position your thumb and first two fingers about 1-1.5 inches from the nipple and gently squeeze this area. Release the pressure and repeat continuously, avoiding sliding your fingers over the skin. Milk should start to flow, and if it doesn’t, try massaging the breast, or moving your fingers slightly nearer or further away from the nipple. Repeat on other breast when the flow starts to slow down and continue until the milk stops or drips very slowly.


Using breast pump (manual/ electric)

These work on the principle of creating a vacuum, which sucks out the milk. Be careful that the funnel of the pump is not too small for your nipples, and for electric pumps, suctions that are too strong could damage your nipples.

Remember, do wash your hands, containers, bottles and pump pieces thoroughly before you start. Also, it is important to relax, as tension may inhibit the milk ejection reflex.