What you need to know about expressing milk before giving birth

What you need to know about expressing milk before giving birth

To many women, expressing milk before giving birth is a weird but unforgettable experience.

It is weird because you have not got your baby yet, but your body can already produce breastmilk and you can express the milk.

It is unforgettable because it is a sweet thing that reminds you that you are a mom now.

While in many hospitals and clinics, midwives give instructions and offer help to moms-to-be about how to express milk, women may still feel confused and have lots of questions.

If you are pregnant, there are several things you need to know about expressing milk before giving birth:

The breastmilk before you have the baby is very precious

Most of the breastmilk you collect during pregnancy is colostrum, which contains high levels of antibodies that help fight infections and program your baby’s immune system for life.

Although it is hard to collect a lot of colostrum before you give birth, the little amount of milk can still benefit your newborn baby.

It might be hard to collect milk before you give birth

Even you are after 36 weeks of pregnant, it may be still hard to collect breast milk. When you do it, you can start from once a day, then switch to twice a day.

Each time before you express milk, you need to warm your breasts with a shower or a warm cloth. You can also gently massage your breasts.

The first few days can be hard and uncomfortable, and the key to successfully express breastmilk is patience.

Don’t push your body too hard. You are already heavily pregnant, and you don’t want to hurt your breasts.

Remember that some women don’t have colostrum until they give birth to the baby, and that is perfectly fine.

Expressing milk before giving birth is not risk-free

When you express milk, you may stimulate your nipples. This can bring on regular contractions of the womb and early delivery of the baby.

Due to this reason, women who schedule a C-section may be advised not to express while pregnant.

Another risk of expressing milk before giving birth is that stimulating nipples may increase womb contractions and reduce blood flow to the baby.

This can harm the baby if the baby does not grow well or has medical conditions like overweight, or there is too much fluid in the womb.

Don’t push yourself too hard

It is normal to have zero to quite a lot breastmilk before you have the baby. Some women are lucky to get breastmilk, so they can take it with them to the hospital, while others must wait until days after they get their baby.

Every woman’s body is different, and you should accept that. If you have a hard time to express milk before giving birth, don’t blame yourself.

Try to ask your partner or other family members to help you. Their support will make you feel much better.

Finally, whether you can express breastmilk or not, you should believe that you are a good mom and you will have a healthy baby.

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