Useful tips

There are several things you can do to encourage your let-down and have your milk flow more easily.

  • It is easier to express your milk if you are relaxed. You may try deep breathing exercises, relaxation exercises from your antenatal class, or mental imagery (e.g. sitting in the sun at the shore of a lake).
  • Give yourself enough time. Feeling rushed will impair your let-down.
  • Look for privacy and avoid distraction (switch on your telephone answering machine and lock the door as you are pumping).
  • Have everything you might need within reach.
  • Following a milk expression routine may help you to stimulate a good milk flow.
  • Applying warm compresses to your breasts helps to encourage your let-down and milk flow.
  • Have your shoulders relaxed and your back and your arms well supported.
  • Many mothers find it easier to express their milk in front of their baby. If you are separated from your baby you may look at a picture of your little one, listen to a tape recording of his voice or use a piece of his clothing to smell on.
  • Have a nice drink and a healthy snack handy before and during the pumping session.
  • Get as much rest as possible.

A breastpump is a machine and will not stimulate the same feelings as your warm and cosy baby. But after a while you will learn to trigger your let-down with pumping. Be patient and gentle with yourself.