Hey, it would be lovely if you could give me some help regarding colostrum harvesting please?
1. Start by washing your hands and have your sterile syringe to hand.
2. Make sure you allow enough time and that you are comfortable.
3. Have one or two syringes from your pack to hand.
4. Cup your breast and feel back approximately 2-3cm from the base of the nipple - to where the texture may feel different.
5. Avoid sliding your fingers over the skin.
6. Using your thumb and the rest of your finger to form a C shape, gently squeeze this area - it should not hurt. Release the pressure and repeat several times, building up a rhythm. At first, only drops will appear, but keep going, as it will build up your supply.
7. When the flow slows down, move your fingers round to try a different section of your breast and repeat.
8. When the flow slows or stops, swap to the other breast and repeat.
Initially you may not get any colostrum or only a few drops. This is completely normal so don’t get disheartened. And remember - a newborn’s stomach is the size of a marble - so your baby only needs tiny amounts of colostrum. If colostrum does not appear, try moving your fingers slightly towards the nipple or further away. Sometimes it can help to try a gentle breast massage.
Collect and store every single drop of colostrum you express. Remember, it’s precious food for your baby and every drop counts. Either use a syringe to suck up drops or remove the plunger. Scoop colostrum into the barrel of the syringe, making sure the stopper is placed on the other end. Label each syringe with your name, hospital number and date of birth, as well as the date and time the colostrum was expressed and frozen.