Expressing milk after breastfeeding

I want to express my milk for the night time feeds.. just wanted to know whether I can express my milk immediately after a breastfeed.. If I do, will my baby get enough milk in the next feed? Do I have to wait for a certain amount of time after breastfeeding to express my milk? Any tips for increasing milk flow and pumping? Thx

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  • The best thing you can do in regards to "expressing" is to work off the opposite breast you last fed on

    I.E if the baby has just had a "satisfied" feed from your "right side" you'll probably get a better amount by "expressing" from your "left side"

    I'll also be trying this when I "eventually" give birth in about 2 wks so this method seems more logical to me (personally)


  • Yes, that is good advice. Something which isn't always in the books but certainly seems to be true is that if you try to express without your baby around it can be harder to get much - your milk comes more easily if your let down is stimulated by seeing your baby, cuddling etc. (even a photo helps if you are away from your baby) so it is likely to be better if you've just fed from the other side - if you can manage it (with a small hand pump for example and baby in a rugby hold position) I've found it is much quicker to get a decent amount if I feed the baby on one side and express from the other! Depending on how frequently your baby feeds you shouldn't have any problem filling him or her up later and if you make the expressing part of your routine (about the same time each day) your milk supply should adjust accordingly. You can always top up from the other breast if he or she still seems peckish!

  • A breast feeding expert health visitor said to me that you should try to do night time feeds as if you don't your milk supply can go down more quickly (i can't remember all the ins and outs, my lo is 19 months old now). Also, the oxytocin released when you breast feed should help you get back to sleep! But give the expressing a try, you've got to do what's right for you and your baby, and only you know what's right for you - just passing on the advice I was given. I hated expressing, but that's partly because it was linked to having to do it because my lo couldn't latch on properly as she was tongue tied - I managed to do combined feeding until I went back to work when she was 10 months old and loved having those intimate times when she was bigger.

  • Winnie is right about the night feeds-they are important to your supply.

    Remember when you start expressing you may not get much, this should improve with time. You might find first thing in the morning a better time to express than later in the day. I used to feed on one side, pump the other and it worked a treat (once you've worked out the logisitics!)

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