There are a number of reasons why as a breastfeeding mother you might want to express milk rather than feeding your baby directly from the breast:
- Your baby may be premature and too small to suck properly. In this case, your expressed milk can be fed to the baby through a tube.
- Some babies with a cleft lip or palate find it difficult to suck and need to be fed expressed milk with a specially shaped spoon or teat.
- You may wish to leave your baby with someone else. Your expressed milk can be fed to your baby via a bottle, a cup, an eyedropper or a spoon.
- If you are working outside the home and wish to provide breast milk for your baby when you are at work.
- Breast milk contains antibodies which will help protect your baby against illness – which can be especially valuable if the baby attends a day care centre with other children and needs to be fed when you are not there.
- You may simply wish to express a small amount of milk to mix with your baby's first solid foods.