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When is it necessary to express breast milk?
As you know, full milk comes only 3-4 days after childbirth. The first days milk appears in small quantities. Inflow of milk in a young mother is often difficult enough, poured breasts can ache. The milk ducts are not yet developed and the baby cannot suck the milk out of the breast. Only expressing milk with a preliminary massage can alleviate this condition.
Expressing milk in the first days after childbirth also has a negative side, it can lead to hyperlactation – an excess of milk. But this can be easily avoided – you should only express the milk not completely.
On the other hand, the very fact of pumping is not very aesthetically pleasing; many associate it with milking cows, especially if pumping is done with an electric breast pump.
Basic rules for expressing breast milk
To get the most out of this for you, use the tips below:
• Express milk when your breasts are full. This usually happens in the morning. It is best to express milk every 3-4 hours; the procedure itself can take 20 to 40 minutes.
• Until you gain enough experience, it is best to express milk in a secluded area where you feel comfortable.
• Before expressing, wash your hands with soap and water and rinse your breasts with water.
• Drinking a lukewarm liquid may be helpful even before expressing. Tea, warm milk, a glass of warm water or juice, you can even eat some soup.
• Express milk in a position that is comfortable for you.
• Before the process of expressing try to relax, listen to pleasant melodic music.
• A hot shower, massage, or applying warm compresses to the breast for 5-10 minutes is good for milk outflow.
Video instruction: how to express milk from the breast correctly?
Expressing by hand
- Place your hand on your chest near the border of the areola so that your thumb is above all the others.
- Press your hand against your chest while bringing your thumb and forefinger together. The fingers should only be held on the areola, not allowing them to slip onto the nipple. When a trickle of milk appears, begin to rhythmically repeat the same movements, gradually moving your fingers in a circle. This allows all milk ducts to be recruited.
- If you intend to store the breast milk you are expressing, use a special wide-top cup when expressing. Expressed milk should be immediately poured into a special container and refrigerated.
How to use a breast pump?
You must strictly follow the rules written in the instructions for the device. You should be patient, because the necessary skills to use such a device are not acquired immediately. It takes practice.
It is advisable to express breast milk immediately after the baby has sucked. This will fill the breasts as much as possible until the next time.
• Direct the nipple to the center of the funnel,
• Set the breast pump to the lowest draft level at which milk should be expressed. You shouldn’t set the maximum level that you can handle.
• When expressing, you should not feel pain. If pain occurs, check if the nipple is positioned correctly. Perhaps you just need to express for a short time, or give your breasts time to rest.
Breast pump care
Sterilize the device before first use. Boil it or wash it in the dishwasher.
After each pumping, you should put the parts of the device in the refrigerator, except for the motor and pipes, if you are going to use it during the day. If not, the pump should be thoroughly washed and air dried.
During washing, the breast pump should be disassembled into parts, even the smallest ones, so that the milk does not stagnate anywhere.
How to stimulate milk flow?
If your baby is not around, then a surge of milk can be induced artificially, for this you can look at the photos of the baby, his clothes or toys.
• Place a warm cloth on your breast to infuse milk.
• Massage your breasts in small circular rotations around the perimeter of your breasts.
• Lightly, barely touching, slide your fingertips from the base of the breast to the nipples.
• Lean forward and gently shake your chest.
• Gently twist the nipples between your thumb and forefinger.
You may or may not feel the reflex of milk separation itself. It happens differently for everyone. But for milk to be produced, you don’t need to know or feel about the reflex. Some women may feel thirsty or sleepy during high tide, while others feel nothing. However, this does not affect milk production in any way.
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