How do I express my milk? 

Midwife Kate Taylor talks about how to express your breast milk as part of your breastfeeding routine.

Find out more about how to express your milk

Transcript of How do I express my milk?



How do I express my milk?


Kate: All mums who want to breastfeed should be taught how to express breast milk because there might be a few difficulties to start with when the baby’s first born and they have trouble latching on and if you express your colostrum as it is to begin with, it helps stimulate your supply.  It also helps prevent things like blocked ducts, the little tubes the milk comes out of, and maybe mastitis, which is inflammation of the breast tissue.  If you know how to express you can help stop those problems from arising.


By hand is probably the best method because you’re got your hands with you all the while.  You just need to wash your hands and have something clean and sterile to collect it in.  With your finger and thumb in a soft ‘C’ shape you gradually feel back from your nipple until you feel a change in texture, it’s a little bit like a ridge and gently squeeze or compress.


It can take a few minutes for anything to come out but that’s fine just keep going and gradually the colostrum or the milk will start to drip out and then it might get a little faster.  Once that slows down you can move your fingers around your breast so you’re expressing from all areas of the breast and then once that slows down you can move to the other side, repeat the process, then go back to the first side again and do it again and you’d be surprised how much milk you can actually express out by doing that.


There are other methods of expressing – either a hand pump or an electric pump and there are lots of different makes of hand and electric pumps out on the market and it’s probably better to get some advice from a health professional as to which one may be suitable for you.  If you’re using a hand pump or an electric pump you have to wash all the component parts and put them in a steriliser before you use them again.


When you’re pumping, either by hand or by pump, you’ll never to get the same amount as a baby would be able to breast feed out of your breast so don’t be disappointed by the amount that you get.  Usually you can get enough to feed your baby though.





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