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Expressing Breast Milk

Expressing Breast Milk is Hard Work

Mothers that express breast milk are obviously dedicated breast feeding women. It is a lot of extra work to get breast milk to feed your child in a bottle, at a time when the household is already busy and stressful with a newborn baby.

If you are expressing breast milk for the occasional bottle feed, or to get baby used to taking a bottle, then most mothers do this after breastfeeding their baby on the boob. If you express after a feed, then you will only get a smaller volume of milk, as the baby would have had most of the milk to drink first from your breast. But the next day, your breasts will naturally produce extra milk (i.e baby's feed + the volume that you expressed).

When you are expressing breast milk with an electric breast pump, allow about 10 to 15 minutes per side. Expressing with a manual breast pumptakes longer. You may need to do this a couple of times to get enough milk for one bottle feed.

How much volume does baby drink? The volume required depends on the age of your baby. Try to aim for 150 mLs to offer to a baby first to see how much volume they are drinking. This is something that you don't know until you introduce a bottle, as with breastfeeding there is no volume gauge!

You will need to store the breast milk that you collect.  And you will need to sterilise all equipment that you use.

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