Our Healthcare Professional explains why expressing plays an invaluable role in supporting and prolonging breastfeeding.
Breast milk is one of the most precious gifts you can give your baby. While it is possible to fully breastfeed your baby for many months, expressing has many benefits you might like to consider.
Expressing offers you much greater flexibility, being a really convenient way of ensuring your baby still receives all of the fantastic nutritional benefits of breast milk when you can’t breastfeed. You may be returning to work, your partner may decide they would like to feed your little one or you may just decide to treat yourself to a long overdue night out.
There are also other practical benefits to expressing that you may not know about. If a baby is too small (premature) or sick to take the breast directly, you can still express your colostrum or breast milk for baby.
Difficulty latching on
If your newborn is failing to latch on for some reason, expressing can help encourage your milk to 'come in' and reduce the need to give formula milk. Ask your midwife or lactation consultant for extra help if you are having difficulty getting your baby to take the breast.
Using a pump
When your milk comes in there may be times when your breasts temporarily feel full and a little uncomfortable but baby is not ready to feed. In these instances you can use a pump to give yourself some relief. Later, once breastfeeding is established, expressing can help encourage and build up your milk supply, in addition to your baby suckling. You will then have a store of milk to use as and when you wish.
Expressing milk is really easy with practice, although it is best to wait four to six weeks after the birth to let breastfeeding become established before you start, unless a Healthcare Professional recommends otherwise.
Expressing really can give you the best of both worlds. It ensures your baby always gets the very best in nutritional feeding and at the same time allows you the freedom to choose how.
Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical
advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance.
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