When Will My Breastmilk Come In, and How Can I Tell if It’s Coming?

a mother breastfeeding twins

There’s no denying that breastfeeding is a rewarding experience for both mum and baby. However, as a new mum, it can be a bit confusing and overwhelming to know when breastmilk comes in, what to expect when your milk comes in, and how to know it’s on the way.

When Does Colostrum Come in? 

So, you’ve just given birth and welcomed your little one into the world. Congratulations! Your body will now start to produce colostrum, a thick, yellowish liquid that is rich in antibodies and essential nutrients for your little one. This is the first stage of breastmilk production and colostrum can actually start to come in during the last few weeks of pregnancy. 

It is important to note that colostrum is enough for the baby's needs for the first few days of life.

When Does Breastmilk Come in?

After a few days of colostrum for your little one, your milk will start to come in, and this is when you will notice a significant increase in breast size and be left feel fuller, heavier, and maybe engorged. The exact timing of when your milk comes in can vary depending on factors such as your age, the size of your little one, and the baby's feeding frequency. In general, it takes about 2 to 5 days after giving birth for your milk to start to come in.

It's important to remember that while waiting for milk to come in, your baby should continue to breastfeed frequently, at least 8-12 times per day. Breastfeeding regularly in this way will help stimulate milk production and ensure that the baby receives all of the goodness from your colostrum until your milk supply increases.

It’s also normal for some mums to experience some discomfort or pain during the transition from colostrum to mature milk, especially if the breasts become engorged. Applying a warm compress or taking a warm shower can help ease discomfort and promote milk flow.

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Signs That Your Breastmilk is Coming in:

It can be reassuring for new mums to know that their breastmilk is coming in, and to know what signs to look out for. Here are some signs that can indicate that your milk is starting to come in:

  1. Increased breast size: As your milk starts to come in, your breasts will feel fuller, heavier, and possibly engorged. This is because your milk ducts are filling up with milk.
  2. Changes in breast appearance: You might notice that your nipples and areolas look different, becoming darker and more prominent. This is due to hormonal changes that prepare your body for breastfeeding.
  3. Baby's feeding behaviour: Your little one might start to feed for longer periods and more frequently as your milk supply increases, and they may seem more content and satisfied after a feed.
  4. Feeling more relaxed: As your milk comes in, you might also feel more relaxed and less anxious. This is because breastfeeding releases hormones that promote feelings of relaxation and bonding.

It's important to note that not all mothers experience these signs when their milk comes in, and that's perfectly normal. You might not experience any changes at all, or you might feel a lot of discomfort!

While colostrum is the first stage of breastmilk, it is enough to meet the baby's needs for the first few days, so don’t worry too much if you don’t see signs of milk coming in the first few days. The timing of when your milk comes in varies from mother to mother, but with frequent breastfeeding and proper care, you can ensure that your breastfeeding journey gets off to a great start!

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