Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Expressing Colostrum before Delivery


Why would I express my Colostrum before delivery?

It is recommended to ensure that your newborn baby receives well balanced nutrition from the beginning and maintains normal blood sugar levels during the first few days after delivery

 Is it normal for hand expressing to be painful?

Usually hand expressing is painless. In case you experience some kind of pain and you need additional help or support please contact Sidra’s lactation specialists.

3.    How can I make expressing easier / painless?

  • Take warm showers before expressing or put warm pads on the breast
  • Gently massage your breast before expressing
  • Always talk to your doctor or a lactation specialist if you still feel pain.

I don’t produce much when I express, should I feel worried?

Colostrum volumes varies between women, but every drop of mother’s milk is valuable to the newborn baby.

When to stop hand expressing?

Common challenges associated with hand expressing include:

  • If you suffer from bleeding in your pregnancy
  • If you have abdominal pain
  • If you complain of any diseases related to breast

What equipment do I need for hand expressing?

  • Syringe (one per 24 hours)
  • Milk storage bags (for freezing, can contain several syringes)
  • Cold storage bag (for transportation to the hospital)Pen to write the date of expressing on the syringe  

If I have inverted nipples, can this affect my milk production or expressing?

 Nipple shapes does not affect milk production.

Can I freeze expressed colostrum after it’s been in the fridge for 24 hours

Yes, in 24 hours collect the colostrum in the syringe, label it with date and time of collection and freeze it. Keep it frozen till arrival to the hospital.

If I don’t express enough colostrum to fill a syringe in the first expressing, can I use the same syringe for the next expressing?

  • Yes. If the syringe is not full in the first expressing, you can use it for the following expressing before freezing it.
  • Keep the colostrum in the fridge at or (+5 ˚C )
  • Use one syringe for each day
  • Freeze the colostrum you have collected for the whole day (-18 ˚C)


Continue hand expressing straight after delivery for some days to support establishment of breastfeeding and your milk supply.