expressing milk in the hospital

Sincere congrats on the arrival of your little bundle of joy. You may be wondering how to pump breast milk in the hospital? Due to your baby’s inability to breastfeed, you may want to start pumping earlier to establish the milk flow. Helping you express is only the beginning; we’ll work with you to make the most of your breast milk and ensure that you and your child benefit from successful breastfeeding. It’s possible to pump breast milk in the hospital for various reasons, such as if your kid is in the NICU or if you’ve decided to pump from the start and not breastfeed.

How Frequently and for How Long Should I Be Pumping?

As a general rule, pump every 2-3 hours throughout the day and every 4 hours at night.

Aim for 15-20 minutes for eight sessions in 24 hours. Although you’ll be physically and emotionally exhausted, you’ll still have much to look forward to. Do your best and be gentle to yourself in the process.

Even if your baby isn’t breastfeeding right now, you may pump for 15 minutes every 2-3 hours while she sleeps to keep her from dehydrating. To increase supply, you should pump 5-10 minutes after the baby has eaten and 30 minutes after the meal has ended. Ensure that you don’t overdo it.

How can I pump my breast milk while in the hospital?

You may express breast milk using your hands, or you can use a pump. Below, we’ll take a look at both ways. Your midwife can help you decide which approach is best for you.

Hand Expressing

Everyone can benefit from mastering the art of hand expressiveness. It’s completely free and requires no extra equipment. Your milk-producing hormones are boosted when you express your breast milk by hand. A limited quantity of colostrum is present in the first 72 hours after delivery, making hand expression an optimal method of expressing breast milk (the first milk). Even though these little quantities are ideal for your baby, a pump may not be able to contain them all. The first two hours after separation are crucial for learning how to express breast milk by hand. Hand expressing at least six to eight each day, including at night, is encouraged by most experts. For maximum milk production, expressing often and early in the day is critical. Follow these steps:

  • Clean your hands with warm soapy water and dry them thoroughly before you begin expressing.
  • Before you start to express, massaging your breasts may be helpful since newborns often do this before they start sucking.
  • Place your thumb and index finger around 2 to 3 centimeters away from your nipple while cupping your breasts.
  • The pressure should be firm but not painful when you squeeze with your thumb and index finger in a C shape.
  • Press down, hold for a few seconds, and then release the pressure. Soreness and injury to the skin might result if you slide your fingers over it.
  • Then move your fingers to a different place on your breast and do the same thing repeatedly.
  • Tiny colostrum droplets should form. However, this may take a few attempts and some experience.
  • Your fingers may need to be moved forward or backward with your breast, so the colostrum may be collected in a little syringe or sterile container.

Using a Pump 

Using a breast pump is a good idea after you can manually express more than 5mls at a time or 72 hours after giving delivery. In the hospital, you will be provided a unique pump set. Every time you use a pump kit, it should be cleaned with warm soapy water and sterilized before it can be reused. The hospital will provide a cold water sterilizer so that you may sterilize your breast pump after each usage while you are there.

On electric pumps, the suction strength may be adjusted. Take it easy at first. If you increase the power too quickly, you risk causing injury to your nipple. Several funnel sizes are provided to accommodate a wide range of nipple diameters. Your nipple should never be caught in the funnel by a sucked-in pump. Using a breast pump will be easier with the guidance of your midwife.

Using Expressed Breast Milk in Hospital

The hospital refrigerator is where expressed colostrum and breast milk are kept. Taking milk from the fridge should be reviewed with you and a staff member to ensure that the proper milk is delivered to the correct baby. Before using the milk, check the label and your name bands.

What’s the Best Way to Keep Breast Milk Fresh in the Hospital?

Sterilized containers, breast milk storage bags, syringes, and pots may be used to store breast milk. Milk that has been expressed may be taken home in a cool bag. 

Should I Label My Milk?

All of your breast milk that has been expressed should be labeled using the labels provided by the hospital. The label should include your name, hospital number, day, and time of birth.

Where Can I Get a Pump in the Hospital?

There is a breast pump in your baby’s room for your convenience. Some portions of the hospital also include places where women may pump their breasts. Ask your nurse where it is located. 

How Much Breast Milk Should I Pump? 

The following table provides an estimate of the amount of milk you will be expressing. These numbers may vary from one woman to another, but keep in mind that consistent pumping is the key to increase your milk flow:

First 24 Hours37-38 mls in 24 HrsFrom 2 to 10ml per feed
Day 2 to 3170-175 mls in 24HrsFrom 5 to 15 per feed
Day 3 to 6170-300 mls in 24HrsFrom 15 to 30 per feed
Day 8Up to 650 mls in 24Hrs

How Do I Feed The Newborn Breast Milk I’ve Expressed in the Hospital?

expressing milk in the hospital

Using a Bottle 

You may need help understanding your baby’s feeding signals and keeping your infant close to you during feedings. There should be as little stress on the baby as feasible while minimizing the possibility of overfeeding with bottle feeding.

Feeding signals should be followed by a gentle invitation to accept the bottle’s teat. Pace your baby’s feedings, and don’t force them to complete their bottle.

Moreover, you should minimize the number of persons who provide feeding to your baby.

Syringe-Based Feeding

When you have less than 5 ml of breastmilk to offer your baby, you may use a syringe to deliver it to them. Each breast milk feed for syringe-fed neonates should not exceed five milliliters (ml). Using a cup or bottle should be utilized if the baby needs more. To ensure your safety, the staff will demonstrate the proper syringe feed technique. Here are the steps to follow while syringe feeding your baby: 

  • It is necessary to clean the syringe before using it.
  • Rinse your hands well with hot soapy water and pat dry.
  • Keep the infant in a standing posture.
  • Squirt a little milk into the baby’s mouth, no more than 0.2 milliliters (ml). Feed the milk between their gums and cheeks or onto their tongues.
  • Let the baby swallow before feeding them another 0.2 ml of fluid. Continue doing this until the milk supply is over.

Using a Cup to Feed the Baby

Regarding supplementing nursing, cup feeding is not as effective as bottle feeding. However, some mothers choose to use this method for a brief period. A cup feeding can only be performed on an attentive, wide-awake baby. The baby should be calm and not extremely hungry when cup feeding starts. In the same manner, like breastfeeding, cup-feeding encourages the infant to utilize their tongue and lower jaw.

Before feeding with a cup: 

  • Rinse your hands well with hot soapy water and pat dry.
  • Use a single-use cup given by the hospital for each feeding.
  • To keep your hands free, wrap the baby in a blanket so they cannot get their hands in the cup.
  • Keep the baby on your lap with a muslin square or bib over his neck to avoid choking.
  • The cup should be placed on the baby’s bottom lip to rest comfortably. The cup should be tilted, so the milk reaches the baby’s lip, not pressed down.
  • Wait for the baby to take a smell of the milk, bring their tongue forward, and begin to sip or suck on it as soon as possible.
  • Putting milk in a baby’s mouth might lead to choking.
  • Please do not take the cup away from the infant after drinking; instead, keep them seated and the cup in place.
  • There should be no more than 30 minutes of feeding time in a cup.
  • The baby will drink at their speed, taking pauses as needed. They may seal their jaws to indicate completion of the meal at the conclusion.

You may also like...

Popular Articles...

1 Comment

  1. […] knows that your baby will soon be hungry if you don’t give him colostrum, eliminating it by pumping or feeding signals it to generate more milk to satisfy his rising […]

Comments are closed.