Whilst milk from mum is always best, there are plenty of times when mums might want or need to express their milk for their little one.
It could be to feed a baby in NICU, help you feed your twins, give your partner the chance to feed your baby or just to give you some time off!
Sioned Hilton, Medela UK’s Lactation Consultant has been working with mums for over 20 years. Here are her top tips for using a breast pump:
- There are a variety of breast pumps available so make sure you have a think and do your research before splashing out. Here is a little guide:
- If you plan to express regularly for a long period of time, a double electric breast pump will be most beneficial and save you time
- If you would like a breast pump to hand for one off expressing sessions when you’d like a night off or to enable your partner to feed baby, then a single electric breast pump is ideal
- For mums who are looking to purchase a breast pump just in case, then a manual pump such as Medela’s Harmony will be sufficient.
- Try expressing from the left whilst you feed from the right, or vice versa. The skin to skin contact and act of baby feeding will stimulate more milk to flow.
- If you are expressing away from your baby, have a photo or an item of their worn clothing to hand or something that reminds you of them, this will also make it easier for you.
- Find a time to express that you know your baby is most settled between feeds – many mums find this to be mid-morning to mid-afternoon.
- Your body is very clever and works with you to ensure that baby will always have enough milk. Expressing milk will not affect your supply, or use up milk for later feeds!
- Once you have expressed your milk, you can store it in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 6 months. Once removed from the freezer use within 24 hrs. Make sure you use it all in chronological order
- Medela’s Calma Feeding Device has been especially designed to make it easy for a breastfed baby to feed in the way they are accustomed to. Unlike other teats Calma forces baby to ‘work’ for their milk just as they would at the breast, this makes it a great first bottle for a breastfed baby as it helps to avoid nipple/teat confusion.
- If baby won’t take a bottle from you; ask your partner or another family member to try instead