Antenatal colostrum expression: a modern view on the issue

Olina A.A., Yakubovskaya E.A.

D.O. Ott Research Institute of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproduction, St. Petersburg, Russia

Antenatal expression refers to the expression of colostrum before the onset of labor. Colostrum is a valuable concentrate of various substances which have a huge impact on the child’s health. The objective of antenatal colostrum expression is to obtain a safe alternative to formula milk in the case of indications for complementary feeding of the baby in the early neonatal period. Hormonal changes that occur in the body of a pregnant woman make it possible to receive colostrum even before childbirth. The composition of colostrum expressed before childbirth has its own characteristics that reflect its energy and immune value. Antenatal expression accelerates the transition to the second phase of lactogenesis, reduces postpartum breast engorgement, helps to avoid formula milk feeding, stabilizes glucose levels in the blood plasma of children who are at risk of hypoglycemia, and also it supports exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months after birth. The issue of safety for the pregnant woman and fetus during antenatal expression is an important aspect. Different studies have shown that there are no risks for the mother and the fetus as well.
Conclusion: It is impossible to overestimate the importance of breastfeeding. However, the practical aspects and benefits of antenatal expression have not been completely described so far; there are no approved schemes for the beginning, duration and frequency of antenatal expression, and there is no approved list of contraindications to it. There are no articles in the Russian Federation on the practical use of antenatal expression. Therefore, this issue requires a more detailed study.

Authors’ contributions: Yakubovskaya E.A. – writing the text; Olina A.A. – editing the article.
Conflicts of interest: Authors declare lack of the possible conflicts of interests.
Funding: The study was conducted without sponsorship.
For citation: Olina A.A., Yakubovskaya E.A. Antenatal colostrum expression: a modern view on the issue.
Akusherstvo i Ginekologiya/Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2024; (1): 20-25 (in Russian)


antenatal preparation


  1. Mannel R., Martens P. J., Walker M. Core Curriculum for Lactation Consultant Practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2012. 903 p.
  2. Орлова С.В., Макарова С.Г., Грибакин С.Г., Андреев А.А., Легкий С.В. Белый кардинал. Грудное молоко как эпигенетический модулятор жизни, здоровья и долголетия. StatusPraesens. Педиатрия и неонатология. 2019;2(58):47-57. [Orlova S.V., Makarova S.G., Gribakin S.G., Andreev A.A., Legkiy S.V. White cardinal. Breast milk as an epigenetic modulator of life, health and longevity. StatusPraesens. Pediatrics and neonatology. 2019;2(58):47-57. (in Russian)].
  3. Лукоянова О.Л., Боровик Т.Э. Нутритивная эпигенетика и эпигенетические эффекты грудного молока. Вопросы питания. 2015;84(5):4-15. [Lukoyanova O.L., Borovik T.E. Nutritional epigenetics and epigenetic effects of breast milk. Problems of Nutrition. 2015;84(5):4-15. (in Russian)].
  4. Forster D.A., Moorhead A.M., Jacobs S.E., Davis P.G., Walker S.P., McEgan K.M. et al. Advising women with diabetes in pregnancy to express breastmilk in late pregnancy (diabetes and antenatal milk expressing [DAME]): a multicentre, unblinded, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2017;389(10085):2204-13.
  5. Lawrence R.A., Lawrence R.M. Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession, 8th ed. Elsevier, Philadelphia; 2016. 800 p.
  6. Riordan J. Breastfeeding and human lactation, 4th ed. Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2009. 936 p.
  7. Радзинский В.Е. Молочные железы и гинекологические болезни. М.: StatusPraesens; 2013. 304 с. [Radzinsky V.E. Mammary glands and gynecological diseases. Moscow: StatusPraesens; 2013. 304 p. (in Russian)].
  8. Neville C. Lactation in human. Anim. Front. 2023;13(3):64-70.
  9. Алексеев Н.П. Физиология лактации женщины. М.: Юрайт; 2019. 299 с. [Alekseev N.P. Physiology of lactation of a woman. Moscow: Yurait; 2019. 299 p. (in Russian)].
  10. Foudil-Bey I., Murphy M.S.Q., Dunn S., Keely E.J., El-Chaâr D. Evaluating antenatal breastmilk expression outcomes: a scoping review. Int. Breastfeed J. 2021;16(1):25.
  11. Agencia Española de medicamentos y productos sanitarios. Droperidol. Ficha técnica. 2018.
  12. Klinger G., Stahl B., Fusar-Poli P., Merlob P. Antipsychotic drugs and breastfeeding. Pediatr. Endocrinol. Rev. 2013;10(3):308-17.
  13. APILAM (Association for promotion of and cultural and scientific research into breastfeeding). Phenylephrine hydrochloride. At: 2002 updated 21 Dec 2017; access 11 Jul 2023.
  14. Forster D.A., Jacobs S., Amir L.H., Davis P., Walker S.P., McEgan K. et al. Safety and efficacy of antenatal milk expressing for women with diabetes in pregnancy: protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2014;4(10):e006571.
  15. Demirci J.R., Glasser M., Himes K.P., Sereika S.M. Structured antenatal milk expression education for nulliparous pregnant people: results of a pilot, randomized controlled trial in the United States. Int. Breastfeed J. 2022;17(1):50.
  16. Berger H., Feig D.S., Donovan L., Godbout A., Kader T., Keely E.,Sanghera R. Diabetes and pregnancy. Can. J. Diabetes. 2018;42(S1):S255-S282.
  17. Weinel H., Cusack L. Lessons learned from the introduction of an antenatal human milk expression clinic for women with diabetes. J. Hum. Lact. 2019;35(4):725-8.
  18. Clay T.J. Colostrum harvesting and type 1 diabetes. J. Diab. Nurs. 2005;9(3):111‐6.
  19. Butler K., Upstone S., mothers of La Leche League GB. Antenatal expression of colostrum. Information sheet.; update 2022.
  20. Johnsen M., Klingenberg C., Brand, M., Revhaug A., Andreassen G. Antenatal breastmilk expression for women with diabetes in pregnancy - a feasibility study. Int. Breastfeed J. 2021;16(1):56.
  21. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hand expression CS328711-K. Updated May 27, 2022.
  22. Newmann J. Breast compression. Information sheet of International breastfeeding centre. Update 2021.
  23. ФГБУ «НМИЦ АГП им. В.И. Кулакова» Минздрава России. Сотрудники Центра разработали уникальное устройство для докорма детей. 17.09.2020. Доступно по: [FSBI "Academician V.I. Kulakov NMRC for OG&P" of the Ministry of Health of Russia. The staff of the Center has developed a unique device for additional feeding of children. 17.09.2020. Available at: (in Russian)].
  24. ФГАУ «НМИЦ здоровья детей» Минздрава России. Методическое пособие «Рекомендации по сбору, хранению и использованию сцеженного грудного молока». М.: Полиграфист и издатель; 2021. 24 с. [FSAI "NMRC of Children's Health" of the Ministry of Health of Russia. Methodical manual "Recommendations for the collection, storage and use of expressed breast milk". Moscow: Polygraphist and publisher; 2021. 24 p. (in Russian)].
  25. Лукоянова О.Л. Поддержка грудного вскармливания и изменения в СанПиН: лед тронулся. Участковый педиатр. 2020;4:2-4. [Lukoyanova O.L. Support for breastfeeding and changes in SanPiN: the ice has broken. The newspaper "District pediatrician". 2020;4:2-4. (in Russian)].
  26. Нетребенко О.К., Украинцев С.Е., Дубровская М.И. Профилактическая медицина: питание младенца и программирование. Педиатрия им. Г.Н. Сперанского. 2016;95(2):124-32. [Netrebenko O.K., Ukraintsev S.E., Dubrovskaya M.I. Preventive medicine: infant nutrition and programming. Pediatria n.a. G.N. Speransky. 2016;95(2):124-32. (in Russian)].
  27. Руднева О.Д., Хамошина М.Б., Захарова Н.И., Радзинская Е.В. Дискуссионные вопросы периода лактации. М.: StatusPraesens; 2013. 20 c. [Rudneva O.D., Khamoshina M.B., Zakharova N.I., Radzinskaya E.V. Controversial issues of the lactation period. Moscow: StatusPraesens; 2013. 20 p. (in Russian)].
  28. ФГАУ «НМИЦ здоровья детей» Минздрава России. Программа оптимизации вскармливания детей первого года жизни в Российской Федерации: методические рекомендации. M.; 2019. 112 с. [FSAI "NMRC of Children's Health" of the Ministry of Health of Russia. The program for optimizing the feeding of children of the first year of life in the Russian Federation: methodological guidelines. Moscow; 2019. 112 p. (in Russian)].

Received 08.11.2023

Accepted 14.12.2023

About the Authors

Anna A. Olina, Dr. Med. Sci., Professor, First Deputy Director, D.O. Ott Scientific-Researching Institute of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductology,
199034, Russia, Saint-Petersburg, Mendeleevskaya line, 3.
Ekaterina A. Yakubovskaia, obstetrician-gynecologist, Clinical-Diagnostic Department, D.O. Ott Scientific-Researching Institute of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductology,, 199034, Russia, Saint-Petersburg, Mendeleevskaya line, 3.
Corresponding author: Ekaterina A. Yakubovskaia,

Similar Articles

By continuing to use our site, you consent to the processing of cookies that ensure the proper functioning of the site.