When to Express Milk (when away from baby)

This is a common type of email message that we get through our website, particularly when customers are thinking about purchasing a Breast Pump.

“This expressing is a bit new to me, please tell me when I would need to express for my little one for a feed after lunch (11:30ish) and again around 3 pm?  Do I express the day before, after her last feed of the day, and then leave the milk at home for her to drink while I am at work, or what???

I know that expressing milk gets very confusing.  Particularly if you are still breastfeeding baby and then want some milk for a bottle when you are not with her.

I would recommend that you start to build up a milk stash for your freezer, before you start work.  Start pumping about 1 month before, as it does take time to get use to the pump.  And you might only get a few mLs to start with.

When preparing at home, you would breastfeed your baby first, and then use the pump after feeding her.  Then repeat at the same time the next day.  Your body will think that baby is drinking/demanding more milk, and so will produce more 24 hours later.

Or you could do a ‘fake feed” such as if she feeds at 8am  and next due at 1.30pm, you could do a pumping session at 10.30am, in between feeding times.  And continue at the same time the following day.  Then your body will think that baby is feeding/ at that time, and will prepare milk for you to cater for this demand.

(actually, most women find that pumping in the morning is better, as they get more milk).

On the days when you are away from baby, you will need to express at her usual feeding time 11.30 and 3pm.  You will be feeling engorged at work, and you will need to express.  Then with the milk that you pump – that becomes her feed for the following day.

Another article of interest:  What Volume of Milk to get with a Pump