plenty of milk

Making Plenty of Milk

Your breasts will easily make and supply milk directly in response to your baby’s needs. The more often and effectively a baby breastfeeds, the more milk will be made. Babies are trying to double their weight in a few short months, and their tummies are small, so they need many feedings to grow and be healthy.
Most mothers can make plenty of milk for their baby. If you think you have a low milk supply, talk to a lactation consultant. 

This is what you can expect in the first few weeks:

Birth

Milk
Your body makes colostrum (a rich, thick, yellowish milk) in small amounts. It gives your baby a healthy dose of early protection against diseases.

Baby
Your baby will probably be awake in the first hour after birth. This is a good time to breast fed your baby.

You
You will be tired and excited.



First 12-24 Hours

Milk

Your baby will drink about 1 teaspoon of colostrum at each feeding. You may or may not see the colostrum, but it has what the baby needs and in the right amount.

Baby
It is normal for the baby to sleep heavily. Labor and delivery are hard work! Some babies like to nuzzle and may be too sleepy to latch well at first. Feedings may be short and disorganized. As your baby wakes up, take advantage of your baby’s strong instinct to suck and feed every 1-2 hours. Many babies like to eat or lick, pause, savor, doze, then eat again.

You
You will be tired, too. Be sure to rest.


Next 3 to 5 Day

Milk
Your mature white milk comes in. It is normal for it to have a yellow or golden tint first. Talk to a doctor and lactation consultant if your milk is not yet in.

Baby
Your baby will feed a lot (this helps your breasts make plenty of milk), at least 8-12 times or more in 24 hours. Very young breastfed babies don’t eat on a schedule. Because breast milk is more easily digested than formula, breastfed babies eat more often than formula-fed babies. It is okay if your baby eats every 2-3 hours for several hours, then sleeps for 3-4 hours. Feedings may take about 15-20 minutes on each side. The baby’s sucking rhythm will be slow and long. You might hear gulping.

You
Your breasts may feel full and leak. (You can use disposable or cloth pads in your bra to help with leaking.)



First 4 to 6 Weeks

Milk
Mature milk continues.

Baby
Your baby will likely be better at breastfeeding and have a larger stomach to hold more milk. Feedings may take less time and will be farther apart.

You
Your body gets used to breastfeeding so your breasts will be softer and the leaking may slow down.

Updated June 6, 2016

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