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Breastfeeding

Revised: Wednesday October 29 2014

Six Weeks to Six Months

Expressing/pumping breast milk

The latch

Fresh or frozen breast milk is superior to formula which does not have anti-infective properties. Expressed breast milk is preferred over formula if or when supplements are necessary.

Reasons to express your breast milk

Some situations may require you to express your breast milk to increase or maintain your milk supply, especially if the baby is not breastfeeding often and/or well. Breast milk can be expressed either by hand or with a breast pump. Milk expression should not be painful. Follow up with a knowledgeable health-care provider if you are in doubt about any aspect of expressing or pumping. Here are some situations that may require you to express your breast milk:


Maternal conditions:

  • your breasts are engorged
  • your doctor or health care professional would like you to try to increase your milk supply to meet your baby’s needs
  • you have a condition which prevents you from breastfeeding (e.g., sore nipples, breast abscess, acute/chronic illness)
  • you are taking medication(s) known to be incompatible with breastfeeding;  if in doubt, ask your pharmacist or contact Motherisk
  • you have had breast surgery or have been diagnosed with a hormonal problem that has affected your milk production (e.g., breast reduction/augmentation or pituitary gland abnormality)
  • you and your baby are (or will be) separated for some reason (e.g., you are ill, require surgery or need to return to work)
  • your baby is unable to latch because you have very flat or inverted nipples (manual/mechanical stimulation of the nipple may encourage it to protract)
  • your baby is adopted and you need to establish your milk supply


Infant conditions:



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Revised: Wednesday October 29 2014

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