• Breastfeeding
Donor milk & expressing



Donor Milk & Expressing


Donor Milk…


Why use donor milk?


Feeding can sometimes be difficult whether while in hospital or at home and there are many reasons that prevent successful breastfeeding. When this is the case, then you may think there is no alternative other than using artificial baby milk.


However, there is!


Donor breast milk is available on natal and neonatal wards in hospitals and should you wish to use donor milk or have any questions, then all you need to do is ask a member of staff on the ward.


Donor milk is a great alternative if you plan to breastfeed but do not currently have the sufficient supply of milk to sustain breast feeding your baby. Then, once you have a good supply, it might be that you no longer need donor milk or, if you still need help, you can switch between donor and breast milk to help support you and the baby.


Donor milk is the ideal replacement in situations like this so your baby will not be exposed to the risks of artificial baby milk.


Why give donor milk?


Not only can you help support other mothers who are unable to produce enough breast milk to meet the feeding needs of the baby, but it can also help save the lives of premature and sick babies in hospital.


If you are interested in becoming a breast milk donor,then please answer the following questions:


  • Are you fully breastfeeding your own baby and are able to spare some milk?
  • Is your baby less than six months old?
  • Are you a non-smoker who leads a healthy lifestyle?


If yes to all these, or would like further information, then please contact:   


The Wirral Mothers Milk Bank

Tel: 0151 482 7599
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 





Expressing milk simply means squeezing milk out of your breast either by hand or by pump. Expressing milk, especially by hand, is a very important technique to learn due to how beneficial expressing milk can be.


Why express?


  • If your baby is ill and you cannot breastfeed for the first few days
  • If your breasts are too full or uncomfortable
  • To encourage your baby onto the breast
  • If you are planning to be away from your baby for a few hours
  • If you are going back to work
  • To relieve engorged breasts, blocked milk ducts or other breastfeeding problems
  • If your nipples are sore and you want to take a few hours break from breastfeeding to allow them to heal
  • To stimulate milk production.


More information:Expressing and Storing of Breast Milk


How to express


Expressing by hand is easier than using a pump, especially in the first few days. Before getting started you must ensure that you have a sterilised container and youhave washed your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Once done, to express by hand use SLOWW:


  • Stimulate the breast with a gentle massage and nipple rolling
  • Locate the change in texture of the breast. To do this use a ‘c’ shape hold on either side of the breast and gently walk the fingers from the chest wall towards the nipple until the texture changes (usually 2-3 cm from nipple)
  • Only using your thumb and forefinger, either side of the nipple to compress the breast in a steady rhythm (don’t slide your fingers on the skin!)
  • When expressing, milk may take a few minutes to flow. Remember, practice makes perfect and it also helps build your milk supply
  • When the milk flow slows, move your fingers round to another section of the breast and repeat. The breast is designed similar to an orange so it is vital to empty all segments using your other hand for the hard to reach areas


More information:


Storing breast milk…


Once breast milk is expressed, you may want to store this for later use. If using a breast pump, you must ensure that it is sterilised before and after use.


Breast milk must be stored in a sterilised container and can be stored in:


  • The fridge (4 degrees Celsius or lower) – for a maximum of five days
  • Ice compartment of a fridge – for a maximum of two weeks
  • Freezer – for a maximum of six months.


More information: Sterilising Baby Bottles

Last Updated: Thursday, 03 November 2016 11:42

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