Expressing Breastmilk Checklist

Expressing Breastmilk Checklist

A checklist to follow when expressing breastmilk.


  1. Have a clean sterilised container to hand before you start.
  2. Cup your breast and feel back from the end of the nipple to where the texture of your breast feels different.
  3. Using your thumb and the rest of your fingers in a C shape, gently squeeze this area – this shouldn’t hurt.
  4. Release the pressure and then repeat again and again, building up a rhythm. Avoid sliding your fingers over the skin. At first, only drops will appear, but just keep going as it will help build up your supply. With practice and a little more time, milk will flow freely.
  5. When the flow slows down, move your fingers round to try a different section of your breast and repeat. When that flow slows down, swap to the other breast. Keep changing breasts until the milk is dripping very slowly or stops altogether.
  6. If the milk doesn’t flow, try moving your fingers slightly towards the nipple or further away, and try a gentle breast massage.

This page last reviewed 09 June 2013.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it