Print
Request Appointment

Expressing Breastmilk

Work, school, or even a late-night movie can require you to be away from your baby. This doesn’t mean you have to give up breastfeeding. You can transfer milk from your breast to a bottle (expressing). But remember, don’t give your baby bottles or pacifiers until he’s at least 4 weeks old. This is so he can get used to your natural nipple first.

Always wash your hands before expressing.

Woman sitting in chair expressing milk from both breasts with double breast pump.

Stimulating Letdown

Gently massage your breast to stimulate the milk flow. Start under the arm and move around the entire breast. If you’re at home, taking a warm shower might help. If you’re away from your baby, looking at your baby’s picture can help your milk let down.

Expressing by Hand or Pump

Your lactation consultant or other healthcare provider can help you choose the best method for your needs.

  • Expressing by hand reduces pressure in swollen or leaky breasts. It may be a good way to begin a pumping session.

  • A pump works like a baby’s suck and is the fastest way to express milk. Pumps come in manual, battery-operated, and electric styles. To protect your breasts, follow the instructions that come with your pump.

Working and Breastfeeding

  • Talk to your partner or childcare provider about timing bottles of breastmilk. It’s best if your baby is ready to breastfeed when you return from work.

  • Express milk during breaks. This helps protect your milk supply. It also helps prevent engorged or leaking breasts.

  • Arrange to breastfeed at lunch if your childcare is nearby.

  • Breastfeed before you leave for work and soon after you return home.

  • Breastfeed at night and on weekends. Your baby can have bottled breastmilk during the day.

 

Was this helpful?

Yes No
 

Tell us more.

Check all that apply.
 
 
 
 
 
NEXT ▶

Last question: How confident are you filling out medical forms by yourself?

Not at all A little Somewhat Quite a bit Extremely

Thank You!

 
 Visit Other Fairview Sites 
 
 
(c) 2012 Fairview Health Services. All rights reserved.