Breastfeeding provides a bunch of health benefits for both the mother and the baby. Even if you cannot directly breastfeed your baby or due to certain circumstances that don't allow you to breastfeed him, you can still establish and maintain a good milk supply by using a breast pump. Breast pumping or expressing milk is perfect for mothers who cannot feed on demand and be with their baby for 24 hours. Psst...working mothers. It helps to give you more flexibility around feeding time. Here are a few reasons why you should pump breast milk: \tYour baby is unable to feed on directly from the breast. \tYou may want to store the milk and use it when you are away from your baby - due to work, leaving your baby with babysitter and others. \tRelieve engorged breasts. \tYou are trying to increase your milk supply, weaning, and need to alleviate pressure. When should I start pumping? There is no specific time when you can start to express milk. Most often, mothers start to pumping their milk after six months, when the baby can start to wean. However, under some circumstances, you may start to pumping as soon as possible, which is within hours of birth. This usually happens for mothers who find expressing milk useful in the beginning or if the baby having trouble to latch. In short, there is no specific rule about when to start pumping. As long as you are comfortable, you can start expressing milk at any point that suits you. How to express breast milk? A breast pump helps mothers to pump their breast milk easily. Different breast pumps may function slightly differently, so remember to always read the instruction manual before you use it. Here are some tips on how you can pumping breast milk effectively: 1. Plan ahead. If you know that you will be away from your baby, bring a breast pump into your daily routine a few weeks beforehand. You will start a supply of milk for your baby and get used to using a breast pump. 2. Equip yourself. You may or may not be aware of what\u2019s known as the let-down reflex, which stimulates the flow of milk by triggering the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the breast to secrete milk which can then be expressed. The hormone can be triggered in a few different ways, including seeing your baby. Many moms find it can help to have a photo of their baby on hand if they are expressing away from home. And you might also like to use breast pads to protect your clothing from milk when you\u2019ve finished expressing. 3. Find a comfortable place. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be to express milk. Find a quiet and private space, and don\u2019t be afraid to add personal touches with things like lighting and music. It is also a good idea to look for seating with plenty of support so you can sit upright. It is easier to get your milk flowing this way. 4. Pump as many times as you would feed. To maintain your supply, be sure to pump milk at least as many times as you would normally feed. So, if you would normally feed three times during the time that you are away, then pump milk at least three times. What should I do after expressing milk? Once you are done pumping breast milk, make sure to freeze or refrigerate it. You can then thaw it or warm it up when you are about to feed your baby. You may follow these guidelines on how to store your breast milk: How to Store Breast Milk Properly \tUse\u00a0sterile storage containers or freezer milk bags to store and organize milk. \tLabel milk with the current date. \tRefrigerate milk at 0-4\u00b0C for up to 48 hours. \tFreeze milk as soon as it's expressed (you can keep it for up to three months). \tPlace milk in the back of the fridge or freezer, rather than in the door, to keep the temperature consistent. \tUse thawed milk transferred to the refrigerator within 24 hours. \tDon\u2019t refreeze thawed milk. \tTransport milk in an insulated container with an ice pack. How to Feed Your Baby Using Expressed Milk \tThaw or warm breast milk under warm water or with a bottle warmer. \tDo not use a microwave to warm up the milk. \tDo not warm it to boiling temperature. \tShake to mix the cream and the milk. \tTest the temperature before serving. Somewhere between body and room temperature is best. A few things to remember, the amount of milk that you should expect to pump varies depending on a few factors such as your baby's age, the time since the last feeding or pumping, the type of breast pump, and also, the condition of your body - whether you are in a good mood, or stressed. If you are new to pumping, keep in mind that the more relaxed you are, the easier it will be to express milk. Give yourself plenty of time to practice pumping at home and go gently. You will get the hang of how to express breast milk effectively. A good choice of breast pump also helps you to express breast milk easily. Philips AVENT, the number 1 brand recommended by mothers worldwide*, has a few breast pumps that are suitable for mothers who choose to express milk such as Philips Avent Double Electric Breast Pump, Philips Avent Natural Manual Breast Pump with Milk Storage Cups and Philips Avent Easy Comfort Single Electric Breast Pump. *Based on December 2018 GemSeek online satisfaction survey conducted among more than 8,000 female users of childcare brands and products. With up to 60% OFF, you can get these breast pumps and other products from Philips AVENT on the Philips AVENT Official Brand Page. You can also redeem exclusive vouchers with a minimum spend of up to RM50. Visit Philips AVENT Official Brand Page today!