When you're breastfeeding, you probably prefer to do that with your baby in your arms. But however much you might want, the world goes on turning. At some point, your maternity leave will be over and you'll have to go back to work. And there's always that date with your friends that you can't keep putting off forever. Luckily, you can still make sure your child gets their breast milk, as a breast pump offers the perfect solution! But when exactly is the best time to express? We'll run you through it.
Expressing breast milk for the first time
When you have your baby at your breast, the sucking triggers the let-down reflex, as it's known. Your brain then signals your breasts to express milk. However, for many mums using a breast pump, the let-down reflex doesn't happen by itself. This means the best time to first start expressing is when you have a lot of time to practise in peace. Be aware that there are breast pumps available today that can imitate the sucking of your child too. They really do work!
Different times to express
The best time to express breast milk will vary from mum to mum, as it actually just depends on the times when you would normally breastfeed your child. For most mothers, that amounts to around three expressing sessions per day. Please don't feel obliged to stick to expressing only. Weaning your baby off breastfeeding by initially giving expressed milk just a few times a week is definitely a good idea! It will help both you and your child to gradually get used to the new situation.
Planning is key!
Expressing will be far more difficult if you get little or no time to relax. That's why you should plan your appointments and daily tasks around your expressing sessions as far as possible, as opposed to the other way round. Particularly if you're not used to expressing yet.
Tip: use an electric pump
It can take a while to find your expressing rhythm, but you can make this a good deal easier on yourself with an electric breast pump! Are you in a hurry and looking to quickly express your breast milk? There's a special programme for that. If you'd prefer to use your expressing session to take a little time for yourself, you can take advantage of the massage mode. Handy, don't you think?