- The baby has difficulty latching and cannot express milk independently.
- The baby was born premature or has a medical condition, forcing them to remain in the hospital. The mother may not be able to stay at all times to breastfeed naturally, but the baby needs the breast milk.
- The mother must return to work but wants to continue feeding the baby breast milk.
- The mother must return to work and needs to relieve the breasts of tension and avoid leaking.
- The mother is working part time, and needs to leave bottles of breast milk at home with another parent or babysitter. They breast feed naturally the rest of the time.
- There are problems with the mother’s milk, and it is not expressing properly for the baby.
- The breasts are too full and overextended for the baby to comfortably latch. Expressing a small amount of milk allows the baby to latch correctly.
- Improper breastfeeding has led to nipple damage. A period of time without natural feeding allows the nipple to heal.
- The mother’s milk supply is starting to slow down. Expression can help get it going full speed again.
- Nipple blockage may put the mother at risk of mastitis. The flow of milk clears the blockage.
- Mastitis has set in, and the mother needs to maintain her milk flow.
Most mothers do have to express milk on their own at some point during their breastfeeding years. This often occurs when the other needs to return to work, or needs to leave the home for a short period of time without the baby. There may also be circumstances or locations where natural feeding seem inappropriate or uncomfortable for the mother. Expressing into a bottle ahead of time with a bottle nipple similarly shaped to the mother’s nipple can allow expression without wasting milk or breaking the baby’s habit of natural breastfeeding.
How Can You Express Breast MilkYou have several options for expressing breast milk:
- Visit our How to Express Breastmilk page for help and tips.
- Breastfeeding Pump Instructions
- Comparing Breast Milk Pumps
Looking for a Good Breast Pump?We have outlined some steps you can take to determine what is the very best breast pump to buy for your you and your situation. Click here to find the best breast pump for you... or click here to see what pumps that we recommend.
Storing and Saving Breast MilkYou can store expressed breast milk to use later. If you are planning on returning to work or just taking a night away with your hubby, visit our Storing Breastmilk page for more information.
Want to see our top storage choices? Click here.
Finding Help if You Need ItThere are lots of mommies who can help you learn to express breast milk easily and without pain. If you don’t know anyone who has experience with this, you might want to try contacting a lactation consultant, a child health nurse, your doctor or your local Le Leche League.