Breast Milk Expression – How to Express Breastmilk

Breast milk expression is important for surros who wish to donate breastmilk for their surrogate babies. Many intended parents desire to start bottle feeding breastmilk. Some surrogates have trouble pumping.

Though all surrogate mothers have been pregnant before, and most that choose breast milk expression have breastfed before, pumping exclusively might be a new experience. The most important thing to remember when you are strictly pumping, and not nursing, is to pump every 2-3 hours.

Breast Milk Expression

  • The Pump

For those new to breast milk expression, and even for those with experience pumping for great lengths of time, the best pump is a hospital grade pump. Each brand varies, but contact your local La Leche League to find out what they recommend, or talk to the lactation consultant at the delivery hospital.

Usually, you can rent a pump from the hospital or a local medical supply store. If you are going to express breastmilk for an extended period of time, purchasing a pump from eBay may also be a good option.

  • Colostrum

The first few days after the birth of the baby, a surrogate mother, like every other mother, will produce colostrum. This thick, highly nutritious substance is extremely difficult to pump. Some women have no trouble whatsoever pumping out this valuable fluid, but others will not get a single drop.

Do not worry if you feel there is a lack of breastmilk and are unable to see any coming out for several days. A woman’s supply will come in typically 4-7 days after delivery. If she cannot pump the colostrum, it can take the full 4-7 days to see any sort of milk coming out.

Continue pumping every 2-3 hours for 10-15 minutes each time. The milk will come in.

  • The Appearance

When bottle feeding breastmilk, it does not resemble cow’s milk. Though when it is first expressed it may appear milky white, after refrigerating it will most likely separate into the milk and cream. The color will probably be yellowish, and may even look “swirly”. This is completely common. Simply shake it a little.

Storing Breastmilk

Breastmilk can go bad. Make sure you are taking proper steps to insure the quality. Anyone who has experienced breast milk expression before knows that there is a lot of work that goes into every single ounce of milk.

It is very sad when all that work is for nothing. Milk that has gone bad will have a bad smell to it, smelling sour. Do not give breastmilk that has a bad odor to a baby.

It can be stored in a chest (deep) freezer for up to 12 months. If storing in a regular freezer, it is recommended that it is used in two-three months. Thaw in the refrigerator. Bottle feeding should be done within 24 hours of thawing.

What have your experiences been with pumping?

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