During pregnany you might to decide to express milk by hands. There are some advantages. You’re getting used to touch your breast in a different way. You can collect the first drops and freeze them. This can be additional feeding if necessary in the first week, when the production still has to set in. Prenatal pumping is especially adviced to women at medical grounds, who are more likely to have the need to give additional feeding to their babies, like women with gestational diabetes.
We advice against prenatal pumping to women who had premature contractions in de (last) pregnancy. When you decide to start pumping breast milk during pregnancy, it is only adviced to start from 37 weeks, because of the chance of Braxton-Hicks or premature contractions.
Youre body may not be ready to start producing breastmilk before child birth. It is completely normal that the production will not start or that you see only some drops. The production will start well after child birth and than it might feel relaxed that you know how to pump by hand.
This is how you pump by hand: Place your thumb at the top side of the areola , the forefinger and middle finger at the underside at the edge of the areola. Place your fingers at least 4 cm of the nipple. Place the rest of your fingers under the breast for support. Make sure that the thumb and forefinger/middle finger form a C together. Press thumb and forefinger towards the chest, to each other and foreward. Repeat this movement: place the fingers, push, roll foreward, place the fingers, push, roll foreward, etc. You can collect the drops in a clean bottle.
If it doesn’t work out to pump by hand or machine and your baby needs additional feeding, you may consider, besides formula, donormilk.