Expressing Breastmilk

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August 05, 2021
2 min read

Not all newborns can breastfeed

When your newborn baby is placed in your arms for the first time, you hope that your baby will be able to successfully breastfeed, but the reality is that not all newborns will be able to achieve this. If direct breastfeeding is not possible, expressing is the next best option.

Expressing & Colostrum:

  • In the first 24-48 hours the first milk produced is called colostrum, a rich, sticky milk that’s full of goodness designed to protect your baby.
  • Colostrum is generally all your baby needs until your milk comes in around day 2-3.
  • Because of its thick consistency, hand expressing is by far the best way of removal as your fingers are able to gently massage the breast tissue to drain the colostrum forward toward the nipple where it can be easily removed.
  • During this time it is also vital that the breasts are stimulated regularly (8+ times a day) with a combination of hand massage and  a hospital-grade pump.

Expressing & Establishing Milk Supply:

  • Early stimulation is the most effective way to establish a milk supply that meets your baby’s needs and provides the foundation for long term milk production and continued breastfeeding.
  • Once your milk has come in, if your baby is still unable to breastfeed continue to express to feed your baby your breastmilk.
  • Combining hand expressing with pumping has been shown to yield more milk
  • Double pumping (both breasts at the same time) will speed things up, removing the milk in half the time, helping to increase your supply if you are still struggling with low supply.
  • Remember to drop back to single pumping and just remove enough for comfort from the second breast if you suddenly find you are developing an oversupply.

Frequency of expressing:

  • Expressing 8-12 times in 24 hours is the recommended frequency to establish a milk supply that will meet your baby’s needs for the long term however this may vary from mother to mother
  • Each pump session should only take approximately 10-15 minutes or until your milk flow reduces to drops.
  • A hospital-grade pump will ensure you are able to remove the milk efficiently and comfortably and is more practical if you are pumping more than 3 times a day.


Jillian Eadie

Jillian holds the gold standard qualification of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant ( IBCLC). She has over 10 year’s experience working closely with new mothers in the Maternity Unit setting as well as providing private consultations to new mothers in the comfort of their homes. She is also a Registered Nurse/Midwife. Jillian provides private lactation consults in your home or for those living outside Melbourne’s metropolitan area, Victoria or Australia via Zoom/Facetime meetings.

If you are experiencing any concerns and would like to discuss these further please don’t hesitate to contact me. Queries here.

Learn more about the Dr Golly Philosophy here.

Shop the Dr Golly age appropriate routines here.

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