Breasts can become heavy and engorged when the milk comes in 3-5 days after delivery. This causes discomfort to the mother and makes it difficult for the baby to attach and suckle. Hence breasts need to be emptied at this stage by appropriate technique. This would also be necessary in other situations e.g. working mother, sick \ premature baby (in special care units). Mother will get benefited in all these situations if she learns the technique of expression of breastmilk.


Breastmilk can be expressed by 3 ways

  • Hand Expression
  • Using the Pump (Manual/ Electric)
  • Hands on Pumping (Combining above two)


The choice of method depends on individual mother and the baby, the reason for expressing the milk & the duration for which the expression required.

Since Hand expression does not need any instruments (No cost involved), it is useful technique to be learnt by every mother. It is also useful in early days when milk volume is less.


Storage of Expressed Milk:   

Room Temp: <4 Hours

Refrigerator (Chiller Compartment): < 24 Hours*

*References mention that in Refrigerator (20-40 C) milk can be preserved for 2 – 8 days. However, in warm countries like India refrigerator temperature cannot be ensured to be between 20-40 C. Hence the recommendation of <24 Hours from us.

Here is the way how to express the breastmilk manually by hand: