Expressing and Storing Breastmilk

Breast milk can be expressed by hand or with the use of a breast pump. There are many pumps to choose from, but only a few are designed to support your milk supply during full days apart from your baby. A two-sided electric pump is usually the best choice. A lactation consultant or WIC breastfeeding peer helper may be able to help you find the right pump for your needs. Most breastfeeding moms are eligible for a free breast pump through their insurance company. Talk to the WIC Breastfeeding staff for more information on their pump program and for help ordering a breast pump.

Some mothers are able to express only a few drops of milk their first try. Others express a few ounces. The amount of milk you express can change depending on many things: how long it has been since you last breastfed your baby or expressed your breasts, how comfortable you are expressing, the time of day, your diet, the amount of sleep or rest you are getting and if you are going through a stressful time.

Practice makes Perfect: 

Remember, pumping and hand expression improve with practice. An average mom may pump only half an ounce up to two ounces total, from both breasts, per pump session. Pumping gets easier the more you do it. A nursing baby is more effective than any pump, so if you only express a small amount it doesn’t mean your baby isn’t getting enough at the breast.

Tips for Pumping

Expressed breastmilk storage guidelines

Paced feeding