You may wonder, why would a woman express her breast milk, even before her baby is born? Well there a few situations in which this can be helpful.
Very often, after the baby is born, many hospitals do not attempt to immediately breastfeed the baby. The standard idea is to give some formula milk first, so that the mother can REST (?). This spoils the mother’s plan to exclusively breastfeed her little one. In such circumstances, she can provide antenatally expressed breast milk, which can be used instead of formula milk. Later she can resume to direct breastfeeding.
Babies born to diabetic mothers, may have a tendency to develop low blood sugar levels .Hence, they are intensely monitored for the first few hours and may be given formula milk to prevent episodes of hypoglycemia (i.e. low blood sugar level). Such mothers should surely have expressed milk with them, when they reach the hospital for delivery.
Also, in some unexpected medical situations, the mother and the baby may be temporarily separated for a few hours. Here again, the expressed breast milk can substitute the formula.
A woman starts producing colostrum (i.e. the first milk) in her breasts, right from the 16th week of pregnancy. This milk however, does not leak out of the breast till the baby is born. This is because of the inhibitory effects of the placental hormones. So, it this colostrum which she can express manually (not use a breast pump) . This can be started about a week prior to the expected due date.
She can express once or twice a day after a hot shower and breast massage. Milk will spurt out as tiny droplets which can be collected in sterile 2 cc syringes. She can store the syringes in the freezer compartment and carry them all to the hospital, when she leaves for her delivery.
WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY!