Hand Expression, Pumping and Milk Storage


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Hand expression can be used:

  • When you are first starting out, sometimes it is reassuring to see your milk.
  • If you are experiencing engorgement. Hand expression before or after a feed can help to soften engorged breasts (What is engorgement? See Healthy Parents, Healthy Children)
  • Treating cracked nipples. Express a small amount onto cracked nipples and let air dry.
  • If you are separated from your baby. If you baby is ill or premature, expressed milk can be saved to be given to baby.
  • If you wish to have extra milk to be given at by your child’s daycare/babysitter (once breastfeeding well established)
  • To relieve blocked milk ducts (See more about Blocked Ducts)
  • If you decide to use alternate methods of feeding such as: Cup, bottle, or spoon feeding.

Pumping (hand or electric) is not a necessary part of breastfeeding, but may be used if you wish to store milk for later use or if your baby is premature. (Pumping is not advisable when your nipples are cracked) For more information on how to express and store your breastmilk safely, refer to “Healthy Parents, Healthy Children


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Baby Friendly Wood Buffalo

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