How much to express?
Changes in supply
- Expressing more often over the course of a 24-hour period.
- Increase the skin-to-skin time spent with your baby.
- While pumping, do a combination of squeezing and massaging your breasts.
- Continue to pump until a few minutes after your milk flow stops.
- After pumping, hand express for a few minutes.
- Power pumping — ie several pumping sessions in a 2–3 hour period of time. During each session, pump until a few minutes after your milk flow stops.
Manual vs Electric
Manual (or hand-operated) pumps are smaller than electric pumps and more discreet. They are also cheaper than electric pumps. Manual pumps are light and portable so you don't need to worry about an electricity supply or sound as most a quiet. A manual pump gives the user complete control over the suction and speed of the pump; however, many mothers grow tiresome during manual expression and are unable to collect enough milk.
They are more expensive but electric pumps can be easier to use than manual ones because they don't require much physical effort. And many models let you pump both breasts at once, which is a real time-saver and may increase your milk supply. Look for an electric breast pump that has separately adjustable suction and cycle levels, as this will enable you to choose settings that most closely resemble the way your baby suckles. It is also useful to have a pump that operates in two phases: one to stimulate the let down of your milk, and then the second for efficient expressing.