Breast milk is the only food that can safely provide your baby with all the nutrients he needs to grow strong and healthy. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies to 6 months of age, and thereafter for breastfeeding to continue alongside suitable complementary foods for up to 2 years and beyond. Besides, breastfeeding forms a loving, lifelong bond between mummy and little one.
However, there are certain instances when mummies have to express their breast milk in order to continue providing their babies with all the nutrients they need. These are when:
1. Your baby is premature. Oh, there’s just something so sweet about holding your baby for the first time and feeling the warmth of his angelic breath as he seeks the source of his sustenance. It just makes you teary-eyed with joy!
When your baby is premature, he has to spend his time in the incubator. Don’t worry, health care professionals will assist you in expressing your breast milk so your baby can still have the nutrients he needs at this time.
2. You need to return to work. Ahh, yes. After several months of being a new mum, you have to face the reality that there are bills to be paid and that yes, you have to get back to work.
3. You need to travel. Whether you are taking your angel with you or not, it’s just more convenient to feed him with expressed breast milk.
4. Your nipples are swollen and achy. Ouch! I’ve felt this one several times over. But rather than cry with pain (I don’t want my baby to have a negative feeling about our feeding sessions), I just express my breast milk.
Okay, so now you know that you should and can express your milk when faced with the above situations. The question is, how should you do it?
There are actually three ways to express breast milk: by hand, by a manual breast pump , and by an electric breast pump . Among the three, the electric breast pump is the fastest and easiest. If you are a working mum like me, then the electric version will be your best bet.
The Right Way to Express Your Milk with an Electric Breast Pump
Clean your hands and nipples thoroughly. When you prepare food for your family, you wash your hands, utensils and fresh ingredients thoroughly to ensure the cleanliness, health and safety of your meals, don’t you?
It’s the same thing when you express your milk. You have to make sure that everything you need for the process is clean and sanitary – from your hands to the parts of the breast pump that need cleaning.
Then relax. Take it easy especially if it’s your first time to express your milk. You’ll be using an electric breast pump, anyway.It can save you a great deal of time and effort.I use a double breast pump to speed up the process even more. I simply put the suction cups over my breasts and let it do the work for me. It lets me convert my breast milk pumping times to “me” times. It’s when I read my e-book, meditate or chat with my girl friends over the phone.
Then low and behold, I have my milk, ready for storage in breast milk freezer bags. Not to mention that using a pump is one of the most natural ways to increase breast milk.
Expressing breast milk doesn’t have to be painful or time-consuming. All you need is a good breast pump to enable you to enjoy this important phase of motherhood.
Can you share your tips on how to express your milk? Please write your preference in the comments box below and let’s talk about it!