Home and away
Feeding options when you're out and about
Expressing breast milk ensures your baby gets all the nutrition they need when you can’t be there to feed them. Whether you choose to do it by hand or using a manual or electric pump is up to you. Just bear in mind the importance of storing breast milk in the correct way.
How to express and store milk
You may need to express milk if you're away from your baby for any length of time, or if you're returning to work but want to continue to feed breast milk. Whichever method you use, it’s important to make sure your hands are clean and that all bottles, containers and pump pieces are washed and sterilised. Before expressing, massage your breasts to encourage the milk to flow.
Expressing breast milk by hand
Make a C shape with your thumb and index finger or middle finger and cup your breast. Press towards your rib cage and then, maintaining the pressure, push forwards easing the milk towards the nipple. Release the pressure and repeat. You’ll need to use a container with a wide opening to collect the milk. In order to express
Expressing breast milk with a hand pump
Breast pumps have a funnel which you place over the nipple and areola. Some are operated by a lever and others run on batteries. Again, it’s best to massage your breasts before expressing and then follow the instructions that come with your particular pump.
Electric breast pumps
Fast and easy to use, these pumps are good if you need to express for an extended period, for
Storing breast milk
Expressed breast milk must be stored in a sterilised container, and can be kept in the fridge for up to five days at 4°C or lower, for two weeks in the ice compartment of a fridge, and up to six months in a freezer – make sure you label them with the date of expressing and the volume of milk inside.
Expressing breast milk ensures your baby gets all the nutrition they need when you can’t be there to feed them. Watch this short video from Aptaclub for a step-by-step guide on how to express and store your breast milk safely.
Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.