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When do you start producing milk?

Breast milk is considered the best food for a baby. Milk production and breastfeeding are important stages after the birth of a child. Women who become mothers for the first time experience fear and anxiety. Especially when the milk does not arrive immediately after childbirth.

This situation is normal and there is no reason to worry. Each organism is individual and milk production occurs in different ways. The baby will not starve because in the first days he will eat colostrum. Even a few drops of a thick calorie substance is enough for him not to feel hungry.

There are many myths associated with milk production that many women believe. The psychological attitude of the mother and knowledge of the characteristics of the female body will help to avoid common mistakes and successfully establish the feeding process.

When do you start producing milk?

Milk arrives 3-4 days after the birth of the baby, but it all depends on the characteristics of the woman’s body. There are times when milk comes only on the 7th day after childbirth. Colostrum is the main food of the baby until milk begins to be produced. The clear liquid has a yellowish color, thick consistency, and appears in the breast during pregnancy after about 22 weeks.

Colostrum is secreted both after natural childbirth and after C-section. It is very nutritious and valuable for the baby. The baby’s stomach cannot absorb large amounts of food in the first days of life. Colostrum lines the mucous membranes of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines with beneficial bacteria, protecting the baby from infections.

The breast fills up when the milk begins to be produced. The mother’s body will produce as much milk as the baby eats in a few weeks.

Types of breast milk

The composition of breast milk is constantly changing. It does not depend on the nutrition of the mother. Breast milk can change composition even several times a day. Another factor is the age of the child. The ratio of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins changes with the age of the child. Breast milk “grows” with the baby.


A child 40-50 years ago was brought to maternity hospitals for the first feeding on the third day after birth. Colostrum was not considered beneficial. This negatively affected the establishment of breastfeeding.

The colostrum performs protective functions similar to the placenta during pregnancy. It is maximally adapted for the baby’s digestive system. There are many nutrients in a few drops of colostrum.

Colostrum charges the body with immunity against microbes that the baby faces from the first minutes of life. Colostrum lays a strong foundation for the development of a baby’s bone and muscle tissue due to its high protein content. The calorie content in the product is 150 kcal per 100 ml. When colostrum turns into milk, its calorie content is up to 70 kcal per 100 ml.

Transitional milk

The transition from colostrum to milk is short. Transitional milk should not be neglected. Transitional milk is produced 3 days after birth. Its composition changes dramatically during this time. Milk sugar imparts a sweet taste and increases lactose levels. It is well absorbed by the intestines and ensures the motor activity of the baby.

The arrival of transitional milk is characterized by a feeling of heat and tingling in the mammary glands. Usually, transitional milk is produced more than the baby needs. The woman feels that the breast is not empty after feeding. It is recommended to express milk in this case.

Transitional milk contributes to the adaptation of the child’s body to new conditions, gives strength for growth, and participates in the formation of tissues, and the development of internal organs due to the high content of fats.

Mature milk

Mature milk begins to be produced two weeks after birth. It can change its composition even during feeding. It is divided into foremilk and hindmilk. The baby receives foremilk at the very beginning of breast sucking. It has a watery structure and consists of protein, water, and lactose. The foremilk is pale blue. It satisfies the need to drink.

The hindmilk begins to be secreted later. It is located in remote areas of the mammary glands. It is released more slowly because it is 4-5 times more fat than foremilk. Hindmilk has more calories. The baby receives a lot of nutrients and a supply of energy.


The baby should be allowed to eat as much as he wants. Long-term feeding allows you to pick up milk and get all the necessary substances for full development.

What affects the production of breast milk?

Milk production depends on two hormones – oxytocin and prolactin. The higher the hormone levels, the more milk is produced. Prolactin is produced in response to a baby’s suckling.

Oxytocin is called the hormone of affection, love, and trust. It is he who is responsible for the movement of milk by milk straits. The hormone is released before and during feeding and promotes the production of milk. A woman produces milk when she thinks of a child with love and carries it in her arms. Oxytocin is very sensitive to a woman’s emotional state.

Stress hormones block oxytocin levels if a woman is nervous. This affects the production of breast milk. It is in the mammary gland but it is difficult for the child to suck it out. Mom needs to relax, calm down, and tune in a positive way.

What contributes to delayed milk production

Experts note different reasons why breast milk is released later. This is most often due to diseases and pathologies in a woman that was before pregnancy.

Remains of the placenta in the uterus

All women in labor come for an ultrasound to prevent complications before discharge from the hospital. If an ultrasound was not performed a couple of days after birth, this does not exclude that particles of the placenta remained in the uterus. This can cause putrefaction and inflammation, as well as adversely affect the establishment of lactation.


Women suffering from high blood sugar levels are forced to systematically take various drugs. Milk is excreted later because of this. It is better to consult a doctor about the production of breast milk in this disease.

Formation of theca lutein cysts

A thecal luteal cyst may form early in pregnancy. It resolves on its own 4-6 weeks after birth. Milk may appear later for this reason. Everything is very individual and requires the advice of your doctor.

Does the amount of breast milk depend on breast size?

Breastfeeding is independent of breast size. Both small and large breasts have all the structures for milk production (alveoli, destinies, tubules, ducts). All of them are surrounded by adipose tissue. There is less fat in small breasts, but size does not affect milk production and quantity.

Heredity and breast size do not affect the process of milk production. A woman with multiple children may have a different volume of milk after each child is born. The key to successful breastfeeding is the proper organization of the process, frequent attachments, feeding on demand, and a positive mood for the mother.

Why do different women produce breast milk at different times?

Milk production depends on the individual characteristics of the woman’s body. This may be the third, fifth, or even seventh day after childbirth.

The process of milk production is affected by medications that are used during childbirth. Blood transfusions can lead to breast swelling. It is more difficult for the child to take the breast and milk comes later. Antispasmodics that are used during childbirth negatively affect milk production.

Mom and baby are separated after a C-section. The first attachment to the breast occurs 10-12 hours after birth. The child is supplemented with formula and this affects the flow of milk.

What can I do to produce more breast milk?

Breastfeeding requires patience and adherence to certain rules from the mother. This is a skill that needs to be developed. Mom will soon be convinced that all her efforts were not in vain. Simple recommendations can improve the situation if there is very little milk produced.

Frequent breastfeeding

This is universal advice for those who want to establish breastfeeding. The baby suckles at the breast and stimulates the retention of milk. You can feed your baby as much as he wants. The interval between feedings should not exceed 4 hours.

Night feedings

The greatest secretion of prolactin occurs at night. It starts working in response to the baby’s suckling and then milk is produced for later feeding. Do not skip nightly breastfeeding to establish the process.

Balanced food

Baby care takes time and mothers often forget to eat. Eating nutritious foods and drinking enough fluids (at least 2 liters per day) are very important to increase your milk supply. Before each feeding, it is useful to drink warm tea. In the pharmacy, you can buy special tea that increases lactation.


Childbirth and night feedings tire the mother. It is important to make time for proper rest. It is good practice to sleep together between mother and baby and walks in the open air.

How to feed a baby if milk is not fully produced?

There are times when the milk does not appear at all. The reason is simple – the breast is not developed at all and milk is not excreted. It looks like there is no milk. Experts say that lactation does not occur only in 3% of cases. In other cases, a woman needs to make more effort so that the baby gets the milk.

Breast massage and frequent attachment will help in such a situation. It may seem to a woman that the baby is sucking on an empty breast. The situation will change and there will be more milk in a few days. Frequent latching and on-demand feedings will help improve milk production. You should consult with a specialist if milk still does not appear.

Does a woman make more milk when she has twins?

Mothers of twins often worry about whether there will be enough milk for two babies. The mother’s body is adjusted to this if there are two children. After 2-3 weeks, he produces as much milk as the children eat.

The birth of twins very often occurs by C-section. This causes certain difficulties in establishing breastfeeding because the mother is separated from the babies on the first day. Milk usually appears 5-6 days after birth.

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