When Should I Start Expressing Breast Milk?
Unless your healthcare professional recommends it, it is not advisable to express milk until baby is about four to six weeks old. This gives you plenty of time to establish breastfeeding and to resolve any little difficulties that may crop up.
Common problems associated with expressing too soon include overproducing breast milk and nipple confusion – where baby becomes lazy at the breast. If you do need to start expressing breast milk before six weeks, don’t overdo it. Consult your midwife or health visitor for more advice.
What Time of Day Should I Express?
No-one knows your own body as well as you, but many mums find that expressing milk in the morning is the most productive. This is because milk producing hormones are highest at night.
The best time to express breast milk also varies depending on what you want to express milk for. See below:
- For a night feed – in the morning
- For engorged breasts – little and often
- To boost milk supply – after daytime feeds
Never express when you are tired as the quantities will be less than when not so tired. Try to ensure you have had something to eat and plenty to drink. This improves the quality and quantity of milk.
You may also be interested in our other expressing breast milk articles, including how to express breast milk and expressing at work.