HAND EXPRESSING – WHAT?!

3 May, 2020

LittleBirthCo

Let’s talk colostrum and hand-expressing before your baby is born!

What? Colostrum is the first milk you produce (from around 16wks of pregnancy). It’s there for your baby until your mature milk comes in on around day 3-4. It’s produced in small amounts (perfect for your baby’s tiny tummy!), is yellowish in colour and is full of nutrients to kick-start your baby’s immune system ????

Why?

Collecting colostrum antenatally may be recommended if you have gestational diabetes, you’re expecting multiples or having a planned caesarean.
It can be helpful for all women to try as sometimes unexpected bumps in the road (e.g. blood loss, a particularly long labour, tongue tie or lack of support with feeding) may impact your breastfeeding journey. Having some colostrum stored can be a reassuring back up and ease stress!
It helps you become familiar with how to hand-express before your baby is born.
If your baby is having trouble latching on, is separated from you, has low blood sugar or needs some extra milk, you can top up with your own.

How?

Have a look at our video which talks you through it!
Find somewhere you feel comfy, warm and relaxed and have everything you need to hand!
Most importantly, don’t worry if you don’t get any colostrum – this is perfectly normal and doesn’t mean you’ll have problems with breastfeeding.

Storing?

In small sterile syringes – 1 or 2ml – which your midwife may provide (or you can get easily on Amazon), kept in a Ziploc bag in the freezer
Remember to label each syringe with your name, DOB & date you expressed.
Take with you to the birth centre/hospital in a cool bag with ice blocks & ask your midwife to put it in the fridge/freezer.
To defrost, hold the syringe in your fist or run under warm water.

If it’s something you’d like to try, it’s best to wait until 37wks and we recommend talking it through with your midwife first. Please don’t try if you’re at risk of early labour. Any questions, click here!

A huge thanks to our instructor, Steph, for this amazing post. You can find Steph on the following links:

Instagram: @stephwestacott

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephwestacottPBP/

The LBC Website: https://thelittlebirthcompany.co.uk/instructor/details/steph-westacott-1112

Steph’s Website: https://www.stephwestacott.co.uk/

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