Expressing means removing milk from your breast so you can store it and feed it to your baby later.
You can express by hand or by pump. If you need to express milk during your first few days breastfeeding, it is best to express by hand.
Expressing milk for your newborn
In the early days of your baby's life, you may want to express milk if:
- you are separated from your baby
- your baby needs to be cared for in a paediatric (children's) hospital or special care baby unit
- you or your baby are too ill to breastfeed after birth
- your breasts feel very full (engorged)
- your baby is having difficulty attaching to the breast
- you or your partner are a member of the Travelling community and are waiting to receive your baby's Beutler test result
Expressing later on
Later on in your baby's life, you may also want to express your milk if:
- you want to give your milk to your baby’s carer
- you’re going back to work and will continue breastfeeding
- you’ve introduced other foods to your baby’s diet but will continue to give them breast milk - breast milk is an important part of your baby’s diet even if they have started to eat other foods