Health Topics

Collection, Storage and Use of Expressed Breast Milk for Well Infants

  • Wash your hands before pumping.
  • Make sure you use a clean collection kit. Follow the instructions that came with your pump for cleaning pump parts between each use.
  • Sit comfortably. Think about your baby or look at a picture of your baby. Relaxation techniques can help increase the amount of milk removed from the breast.
  • Apply a warm wet cloth for a few minutes before pumping to help with milk release from the breast. A warm wet diaper works well to retain the warmth.
  • Gently massage the breast before and during pumping to increase the amount of milk removed.
  • Check to make sure the flange (the piece that fits over the nipple) is the correct size when pumping milk. Your nipple should not rub the barrel or appear tightly squeezed when the pump is on. The wrong flange size can lead to decreased milk production and pain with continued use.
  • If your pump has a vacuum control, use only as much suction as is needed to keep milk flowing. Adjust to your comfort level.
  • Pumping usually takes 10 to 20 minutes per side for a single pump. Double collection kits will decrease the amount of time needed for pumping to approximately 15 minutes total.
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Storing Your Breast Milk

Human Milk Storage Guidelines for Well Infants

Handling and Use of Expressed Breast Milk

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Last Updated: 12/2013