How to Express Milk with an Electric Pump?

As a new parent, the journey of raising a little one can be both exciting and demanding. One of the essential tools that can make this journey smoother is the best electric breast pump. Whether you’re a working mom, facing breastfeeding challenges, or simply want to build a milk stash, an electric pump can be a game-changer.

In this article, we’ll look into the world of electric breast pumps, providing you with a comprehensive guide on how to effectively express milk using this modern marvel. From preparing for the process to mastering the techniques, we’ve got you covered.

So, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of electric pumping, where convenience and nourishment go hand-in-hand.

Preparing for Milk Expression

Before delving into milk expression, it’s essential to gather the necessary tools and create an optimal environment. Start by selecting the right electric pump that suits your needs. Consider factors such as portability, adjustable settings, and ease of cleaning. Proper hygiene is crucial to maintain the safety of expressed milk, so ensure you clean and sterilize the pump and all its components before use. Additionally, designate a comfortable and private space where you can express milk without interruptions.

Getting Ready for Milk Expression

Before commencing pumping, take a few moments to prepare your body and the equipment. Wash your hands thoroughly to prevent any potential contamination of the milk. Next, find the right flange size that fits comfortably around your nipple and allows for efficient milk expression. Assemble the pump correctly, ensuring all parts are tightly connected to avoid any leakage during the process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Expressing Milk with an Electric Pump

  • Stimulating the Breasts: Begin by gently massaging your breasts and applying warm compresses to encourage milk letdown. This step aids in triggering the natural reflexes that initiate milk flow.
  • Positioning the Flanges and Pump: Place the flanges over your breasts, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. The flanges should cover your entire areola but avoid pulling or tugging on the nipple excessively.
  • Turning on the Pump and Adjusting Settings: Start the pump on the stimulation mode to imitate your baby’s initial rapid suckling and trigger a letdown. Once you notice milk flowing, switch to the expression mode, which mimics the slower and deeper suckling pattern. Adjust the pump’s suction and speed according to your comfort level, aiming for a gentle yet efficient pumping experience.
  • Pumping in Cycles for Optimal Milk Flow: Alternate between the stimulation and expression modes throughout the pumping session. This cyclical approach encourages a continuous milk flow and aids in expressing a higher volume.
  • Switching Breasts During Pumping: After you have finished expressing milk from one breast, switch to the other side. This process ensures both breasts receive equal stimulation and maintains milk supply.
  • Storing Milk Properly After Expression: Transfer the expressed milk into clean, BPA-free containers and label them with the date and time. Refrigerate or freeze the milk immediately to preserve its freshness and nutritional value.

Tips for Efficient and Comfortable Milk Expression

  • Create a peaceful and stress-free ambiance during pumping. This relaxed state can help enhance milk production.
  • During pumping, gently massage your breasts and use compression techniques to promote milk flow and empty the breasts more effectively.
  • Sit comfortably with good back support to prevent any discomfort or strain during pumping.
  • Drink plenty of water and maintain a well-balanced diet to support your body’s milk production.
  • Establish a regular pumping routine to maintain milk supply and avoid engorgement.

Research on Mothers Expressing Milk

New research has shown that using breast pumps is common and helpful for mothers to express milk and breastfeed for a longer time.

One study conducted in Melbourne, Australia, examined the usage of breast pumps among mothers from birth until their babies reached six months old. Surprisingly, the study revealed that many mothers utilized breast pumps during this period, even if they weren’t returning to work. This shows that many mothers use breast pumps to help them express milk and easily breastfeed their baby, whether they work or not.

Another study aimed to investigate whether expressing breast milk could contribute to prolonged breastfeeding duration, specifically up to six months. The findings indicated a positive association between expressing breast milk and sustained breastfeeding. Mothers who engaged in expressing breast milk were more likely to continue breastfeeding for the full six-month duration compared to those who did not express milk. These results suggest that expressing breast milk plays a significant role in enabling mothers to balance their breastfeeding journey while fulfilling other commitments.

How Long to Express Milk with an Electric Pump?

The duration of pumping sessions depends on various factors, including your baby’s age, milk supply, and individual preferences. Generally, pumping sessions can last around 15-20 minutes per breast. However, this may vary from person to person.

Frequency is key when pumping milk. Newborns may nurse every two to three hours, so pumping should occur around the same frequency to maintain milk production.

How much Milk can You Express with an Electric Pump?

The amount of breast milk you can express with an electric pump can vary considerably, ranging from 0.5 ounces to as much as 8 ounces per pumping session lasting 15-20 minutes. On average, most mothers pump between 0.5-4 ounces. However, some “super producers” may express up to 8 ounces. The quantity depends on factors like your baby’s age, weight, pumping frequency, and individual milk production. If exclusively pumping, aim to pump enough to fulfill your baby’s average daily intake, which may require 8 or more pumping sessions. Consistent, frequent pumping is key to establishing and maintaining a robust milk supply.


Mastering the art of expressing milk with an electric breast pump is a valuable skill that empowers mothers to nurture their little ones while navigating the demands of their daily lives. By following the step-by-step guide and incorporating the tips provided, you can ensure a comfortable, efficient, and stress-free pumping experience.

Embrace this journey with confidence, celebrate your achievements, and know that you are providing the ultimate nourishment for your little one’s growth and development. With patience, perseverance, and the right tools, expressing milk can become a seamless part of your motherhood experience.