Collecting your milk before the birth of your baby


hi I'm Naomi I'm Jess and we're from the

upper fielding team at New Cross this

video has been made to introduce

families to the idea of collecting

breast milk before the birth of your

baby or babies the benefits of

breastfeeding for mother and baby are

well recognized breast milk is not just

about food it also provides comfort and

protection there are several reasons why

collecting milk before the birth might

be recommended so experience shows that

every pregnant woman who wishes to give

her baby breast milk would benefit from

learning me and hand expressing

technique for collecting breast milk in

this film we will demonstrate the hand

expressing technique which is the ideal

way to stimulate the release of breast

milk in pregnancy a woman produces

breast milk at around 20 weeks and this

milk is also known as colostrum it's

specifically designed to be very

concentrated and your baby's stomach

starts very small and grows over the

first few days colostrum milk gives your

baby everything they need in a very

small amount so literally every drop

does count when expressing the milk

before the birth it's best to wait until

around 36 37 weeks of pregnancy

very little is needed for hand

expressing just a sterile container or a

collection cup for storage if you're

having your baby at New Cross you can

collect a syringe pack from the

antenatal clinic reception desk during

your pregnancy after the birth you can

hand express your milk to drip feed

directly to your baby by wiping droplets

on their lips or by catching droplets on

a clean finger and putting the drop in

their mouth known as finger feeding

when the milks more free-flowing then

you can use a wide container like a bowl

or drug that's being sterilized firstly

and we're going to talk about how to use

the hand explicit technique to collect

your breast milk before you start it is

it's advised that you give your hands a

really good wash and then find somewhere

comfortable to sit in

relax somewhere where you're not likely

to be dessert want can be very helpful

with an encouraging the letdown of the

breast milk and quite often a bath or a

shower or a warm flannel placed over the

breast before beginning is effective in

fact some women find that practicing the

stimulation part of the technique in the

bath or shower can help it may even be

useful to have your partner or friend to

do some gentle neck and shoulder or foot

massage so it's important to stimulate

the breast this can be done by simply

placing your hand above the breast and

stroking in a firm but comfortable

movement down towards the nipple

many women find that placing a small

amount of moisturizing lotion or oil in

the palm of the hand can help with this

you can move in these in long firm

strokes all around the breasts changing

hands as you feel the need to and

repeating this from at one to two

minutes massaging and stimulating the

whole breast another way to stimulate is

to create a soft fist

with your hands using the flat side of

your knuckles and then gently rolling

the fist across the breast once again

moving around the breast and swapping

hands if you need to

some women find that stimulating the

nipple can also help so you can do this

by placing the nipple in between your

thumb and your forefinger and very

gently rolling backwards and forwards

continue for a short while but not so

that it becomes uncomfortable so if

you're practicing this in the bath or

shower now is the time to step out find

a comfortable place to sit and let's

move on to the process of actually

expressing the milk we want to find an

area in the breast that's going to be

most effective for you to do this place

your thumb and finger just at the base

of the nipple you want to walk the hand

back in a c-shape towards your chest

feeling for a change under the skin some

women can feel a change and others can't

if you can't feel a change then just go

two finger widths from the base of the

nipple placing your thumb and fingers

opposite each other and then simply

compress together and release compress

and release it doesn't matter where the

skin changes color this doesn't have any

effect on what's inside the breasts go

for the toothed finger whips back thumb

and fingers opposite each other

compress and release so keeping your

hand in a c-shape try to avoid sliding

your thumb or fingers down towards the

nipple as this can drag the skin and

make it uncomfortable by compressing the

thumb and fingers together this

stimulates the body to start to release

the milk it can take a few minutes

before you actually notice anything cut

the nipple and that's perfectly normal

the technique can take a few goes to get

a hang of it and so don't worry if you

don't see results immediately

some women find that a pushback

technique can be helpful

this can gently increase the pressure

inside the breasts as mentioned earlier

if you're collecting your milk during

pregnancy or in the first few days after


this colostrum milk can be very thick

and concentrated with everything a baby

needs so it's normal for this milk to

form droplets not to appear free-flowing

when you see the droplet forming simply

use a syringe by placing the tip under

the droplet and pulling the plunger to

draw the droplets into the syringe then

continue repeatedly compressing and

releasing the breasts until another

droplet forms and repeat when droplets

slow or stop rotate your hand around the

breasts and continue with rhythmic

compressing and releasing feel free to

swap hands if you feel the need to once

you have finished expressing your milk

from one breast you may wish to take a

rest otherwise you can move to the other

breast and repeat if you experience

tightening or hardening of the belly

which then passes you don't need to

worry too much this is known as Braxton

Hicks contractions however and should

they start to feel like period pains or

cramps all marg labor contractions stop

and if you feel that you might be a

neighbor please contact your Midwife so

once you've collected some milk you need

to store it safely if you're interrupted

while expressing and you forget to put

your milk in the fridge straight away

don't worry and it's fine for up to four

hours at room temperature once you've

finished you can place the container of

milk into the main part of the fridge

and store it safely for up to 5 days

once you've reached the five days the

syringe can go into the freezer and

there it

to be stored for up to six months to

help keep track of the days it's

recommended to use the stickers in your

syringe pack and label each syringe not

the packet the syringe itself with your

name Hospital number which will start

with a letter and then five or six

numbers and the date and time that you

first start adding to that syringe when

you're coming into the hospital to the

for the birth bring any express milk

with you using a call bag and an ice

pack for transport once you arrive you

want to ask a member of staff to put

your milk in the fridge if you're having

your baby at home it can say that the

milk can stay in the fridge or freezer

until needed

okay so once your baby is for the first

step is to have that lovely skin-to-skin

contact that Wizkid skin put on and

offer your baby the rest the babies

instinct to suck on is really strong and

many babies latch on to the breast in

the first hour on their own if your baby

is sleepy you can use the hand

expressing technique you've been

practicing to drip these droplets of

milk to the baby by wiping them on the

lips with a nice clean finger so if baby

is sleepy and you don't feel able to

hand Express you can then request that

the milk that you've bought is then

collected from the fridge for you to

give to your baby skin-to-skin cuddles

also help to balance your baby's blood

sugar levels as well as providing many

of the benefits once your baby's born

it's recommended to continue the

skin-to-skin uninterrupted for as long

as possible and if it's necessary to

stop it's best to return baby's skin to

skin as soon as possible

even if the milk that you've collected

isn't needed in the first hour after

birth you can still give it to your baby

and continue hand expressing and


if your baby is sleepy or taking time to

learn how to attach to the breast and

actively circle once your baby's

actively breastfeeding it should feel

comfortable any discomfort or pain is

our body's Way of telling us that an

adjustment to the baby's latch is needed

if you have any concerns or questions

about collecting your breast milk during

pregnancy expressing in general or other

breastfeeding queries please contact us

at the infant feeding team on oh one

nine oh two three oh seven nine nine

nine extension eight three eight nine or

the National breastfeeding hotline on oh

three hundred one hundred Oh two twelve

other online information can be found in

the infant feeding teams web pages by

searching online for you and your baby

over Hampton