It’s almost your due date and you’ve been hearing so much about how breast milk is the best way to go for you and your baby. You may even have some milk build-up already – yup! That heavy feeling in your breasts waiting for your baby to feed on. You probably plan to advocate breastfeeding and have prepared so much for it – and also wonder if you should start stocking up on breast milk and start pumping while waiting for your baby – but should you pump breast milk before giving birth?
What is Colostrum?
You may have noticed some cloudy, milky looking secretion from your breasts as your pregnancy reaches its end – this is actually what’s called colostrum – first milk. Colostrum will be your baby’s first food and is rich in antibodies. It’s quite thick and won’t be as flowy as you expect your regular breast milk to be like.
Should I start storing colostrum before giving birth?
Some women may want to start storing this milk during their pregnancy – especially those that have plans on delivering via C-section and may have a hard time breastfeeding or for any emergency related needs. However, it isn’t highly encouraged as it could lead to complications that could harm both the mom and the baby.
Can I start pumping and storing my milk before I give birth?
Medical practitioners have mentioned that pumping before labor can be harmful. They said it can stimulate the hormones which can cause early labor. The only time it is recommended is if you have consulted with a practitioner to help you begin labor. It’s also worth noting that pumping prior to giving birth won’t actually increase your milk production or even enhance lactation.
Pregnant and still breastfeeding.
If you are pregnant and still breastfeeding, pumping shouldn’t cause early labor. This is of course considering you’ve been seeing your doctor and have a healthy pregnancy.
It is not recommended to be pumping prior to giving birth. However, there are safe ways to be able to do so, such as hand expressing – of course after consulting with your practitioner or lactation nurse. You always want to do what’s best and safe for you and your little one.