Planning to Start Expressing

Top Tips for mums planning to start using a Breast Pump

We asked this question on our Facebook Page recently, and got a great response from experienced mums. We’ll share their tips for using breast pumps and expressing breastmilk.  You can read them all below……


Write down what you get and when. You’ll see patterns forming and can see the whole days efforts rather than having a low volume feeling disappointing

Drink lots of water. If you’re expressing a litre of milk, drink a litre of water after

Relax and don’t put any pressure on yourself ☺

Create a zen space – relaxation music, oil diffuser and sunlight. Breathe deeply. Have bubs or a picture of baby in sight to release some hormones. Don’t feel disheartened by the first attempts, it takes a while for you and your boobies to get used to this different process….the less you stress about the quantity the better your supply will be

Pump after every feed, if you can, and LOADS off water and food. Pump before bed every night and one side first thing in the morning.

Pump every time a bottle feed is given too. The Silicone Breast Pump is great to have on the non feeding side too.

If you are looking at exclusively expressing (E.g. feeding EBM from a bottle all the time) invest in a double pump – you get about 18% more by being able to take advantage of the let down on both sides at once, and it’s quicker!   Also – if expressing – it’s hard. Don’t be hard on yourself and never watch it filling (just makes you nervous about amounts).

Invest in a really good Breast Pump. Borrow several to try and do your research. An excellent pump makes all the difference.

Understand that not everybody can express. Some people don’t respond well to pumps.

A really good breast pump! An electric one too not a manual one. The Medela ones are the best
Massage your boobs to help with getting it all out.

Get a Silicone Breast Pump and attach it to the opposite side each feed, it catches all the let down milk and if you do it each feed you fill a pouch with 2 or 3 feeds

Give yourself two weeks to get used to it. Make sure you have a good breast pump that is suitable for what you want to do (double electric/hospital grade/). After 2 weeks if it’s not working seek advice from qualified people (not just a friend – a retailer/supplier/etc who knows what they are talking about) who can problem solve with you.

Buy good quality storage bags, breastmates does a good range nothing worst than seeing hard earned milk spilling and wasted

Set your alarm to wake in the morning before your baby does and express then when you’re full. Then make yourself a cuppa and enjoy the few moments of peace before your little one wakes.

Take a video of your baby feeding to watch while you express

 Silicone Breast Pump on other side while feeding. (Whatever pump, expressing from the other side while feeding helps SO much)

Relax and take your time!! Good things take time, stroll through the photos you have taken of bubs while you are doing it Good luck

Using a Unimom double pump while watching ‘one born every minute’ to get the oxytocin’s going!!

Express the other side while feeding bubs the first feed of the day when you are fullest. I could never get let-down with a pump unless I was feeding bubs too.

Keep loads of lactation cookies handy, drink heaps of water, massage and relax. Good luck

Get your breast shield flange sized it helps to have the right size.

Use a baby massage oil to stop friction around your nipple!  Genius

My son is exclusively fed expressed milk; I have an airtight container that I store the pump parts in in the fridge between sessions and 6 bottles plus storage cups so I don’t have to wash dishes every time. Washing and sterilising everything every time was what got to me, but I stopped sterilising once my son was 3 months old.

Check that your baby will actually drink from a bottle. I expressed so much more than I needed too because baby refused to drink out of a bottle. Yes, we tried different people, different bottles, teats etc.

Double Unimom pump, record quantities (date, time, left, right) on a feeding chart to see 24hr totals, eating lactation cookies and taking fenugreek when needed to help supply. If storing milk in freezer bags keep them in a plastic container in the freezer to avoid freezer burn. Using storage cups with little Avery labels on top for milk in the fridge (easy to store and clean). Relax while pumping (tv or Internet) and set the timer on phone for 10 minutes (or however long) so not worrying about time. (I have been exclusively pumping for 10 months.)