If you are visiting this site and in the planning stages of having a baby, we encourage you to:
- Learn as much as you can about hand expression (removing milk from your breast with your hands, the most effective way before the baby is born and in the early days)
- Watch a video on hand expression. Research shows hand expression especially in the first hour, and frequently during the first few days can have a positive effect on your milk supply even if the baby is breastfeeding well. This milk can be fed to the baby by spoon or stored in a syringe until baby is ready.
- Watch this video on breastfeeding after a caesarean birth It has a lot of great information for all families.
- Read through the information on this website and become familiar with the basics of breastfeeding and where to get help if you have any questions.
- Encourage your partner and family members to become familiar with this information as well. Positive support is important in breastfeeding success.
- Remember, your body is made to breastfeed.
- You do not need to purchase a pump before the baby is born. Hand expression works best is in the early days and then you can decide what pump works best for your situation.
Prenatal (antenatal) hand expression
Some babies are at higher risk of needing extra milk in the early days. Babies born to women who have gestational diabetes, are overweight, expecting multiple babies, expecting a caesarean section, or at risk for having their baby early and babies who grow slowly before they are born may need supplementation after they are born. Women can hand express prenatally to keep the expressed milk for the early days. This milk can be stored safely in sterile syringes and used instead of formula if needed.
Information about the risks and benefits of prenatal (antenatal) hand expression can be found at:
Australian Breastfeeding Association,
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers,
Capital and Coast District Health Unit from New Zealand.
July 2019 – ks