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Expressing Milk Tips and Check List

Updated on November 3, 2014

When expressing, stay as relaxed as possible, so your letdown will be good and you’ll be able to extract more milk.

Expressing Milk Issues and Tips

If you plan to continue breastfeeding when you return to work, do look into the logistics of expressing at your office. If you’ve only been latching your baby exclusively, start expressing your milk a month before your return. This not only allows you to start freezing a substantial quantity of milk for when you’re away from junior, it’ll also get him used to the bottle.

Establishing your milk supply before starting work will make it easier to maintain the milk production. This means breastfeeding directly whenever you’re with your baby, as well as before and after work, during public holidays and on weekends.

It’s a good idea to check beforehand if your office has adequate facilities for you to express milk, if there is specific nursing room or an empty room you can use, whether there is an electric socket, if you’re using an electric pump, and if there’s a refrigerator to store your breastmilk.

Freeze Time Frame

Important to take note of how long your breast milk can last at various temperature.

(click column header to sort results)
Time Frame  
At Room Temperature
4 Hours
In the Refrigerator (0-4 DEG C)
48 Hours
In the Freezer (<4 DEG C)
3 Months
In a Deep Freezer (-18 DEG C)
6 Months

Preparation of Tools

The equipment you’ll need to prepare depends on the method you plan to use to express your milk. If you’re expressing the milk by hand, you’ll need to sterilize the storage bottle or container. If you’re using an electric pump, make sure to sterilize the pump and all its parts. Always wash your hands before expressing. You’ll also need to put ice packs in the cooler box or bag to transport the milk home.

Massage your breasts before and during expressing to stimulate the letdown effect. When expressing, stay as relaxed as possible, so your letdown will be good and you’ll be able to exact more milk.

Check List for Expressing Milk

  • Check with your office on pumping facilities
  • Prepare a good breast pump, cooler bag and ice pack
  • Start expressing a month before
  • Make sure to sterilize the pump parts and bottles


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