Prevalence and Outcomes of Breast Milk Expressing in Women With Healthy Term Infants

A Systematic Review

Helene M Johns; Della A Forster; Lisa H Amir; Helen L McLachlan


BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2013;13(212) 

In This Article


This literature review has found limited evidence about the prevalence and outcomes of expressing breast milk amongst mothers of healthy term infants. Authors use a variety of definitions to describe the various infant feeding options, which limits our ability to make conclusions. The practice of expressing breast milk has increased along with the commercial availability of a range of infant feeding equipment. Expressing breast milk has become more common and introduces an opportunity for others to feed the baby. It could be argued that, for some families, breastfeeding has been reduced to a task, which is that of providing milk for the baby, quite possibly even beyond arm's length, something that anyone can do and potentially at the cost to the special relationship between a mother and her infant. The reasons for expressing have broadened and acquired complexity, while the outcomes of expressing, when they have been examined, are contradictory.