How to tell when your breast milk has come in

How to tell when your breast milk has come in

Colostrum is a newborn’s first heavy-duty dose of nutrients. This rich, thick substance is like the cream on top of the milk. During the two to six days following a baby’s birth, colostrum gradually transitions to a thinner, clearer mature milk which is also rich in nutrients.

While your happy, contented infant is the best indicator that you milk has come in, there are a few specific signs. In the absence of any signs, continue nursing. The milk will come.


Step 1

Nurse the baby as soon as possible after birth. Nurse often, 8-12 times during each 24 hour period. The more the baby breast-feeds, the more milk will be produced.

Step 2

Check often that the baby is properly latched on to the breast. If baby’s mouth does not grasp the nipple and the areola properly, he or she will not be sucking well and will not be getting their initial doses of colostrum which in turn leads to the eventual production of mature milk.

Step 3

Some women notice engorgement of their breasts as the milk supply builds up. Other notice little change.

Step 4

In addition, some mothers may notice fluid leaking from their nipples. During this transition time, the substance will go from dark and thick to pale and thin.

Step 5

Even if there no obvious signs of the breast milk coming in, continuing following Steps (1) and (2) to ensure a plentiful production of mature milk.

Things Needed
• Baby
• Stress-free environment
• Phone number for a La Leche League Leader

Tips & Warnings
• It may seem like you are nursing your infant all the time. As the baby becomes more efficient at nursing, she or he will nurse for shorter periods of time.
• Contact La Leche League. Leaders can be reached by phone. Meetings will put you in touch with helpful information and other breast feeding mothers.


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