What is expressing and when is it effective?
Expressing means removing milk from the breast by hand or pump. It can be done instead of or as well as breastfeeding. Expressing by hand is called manual expression. Pumping uses a machine or other device. There are advantages to each. Manual expression is very helpful for establishing the milk supply and electric pumping appears to be more effective for long-term expression. Whatever method mothers choose, expression needs to be effective in order to prevent the milk supply from decreasing and to prevent a range of painful problems caused by overfull breasts. Mothers are expressing effectively if they get the expected amount of milk in no more than 20 minutes on each breast, if the breasts feel empty after a session, if there is no pain with expression, and the milk supply does not decrease over time.