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When Does A Mother's Milk Come In?

Updated: May 5

When Does A Mother's Milk Come In? New mothers typically begin producing small amounts of milk during pregnancy. However, the full milk supply usually "comes in" (meaning there is a significant increase in milk production) within two to five days after childbirth. This process is triggered by hormonal changes in the mother's body after delivery.

During the first few days after childbirth, a mother's milk supply is typically colostrum, a thick, yellowish fluid that is rich in nutrients and antibodies that help protect the baby from infection. As the milk supply increases, the colostrum gradually transitions to mature milk, which is thinner and whiter in color. Other signs that milk has "come in" include breasts feeling full, leaking milk, nipples becoming more pronounced, and/or an increase in the baby's urination. As the baby begins to nurse more frequently, typically every 2 to 3 hours, the hormone prolactin stimulates the mammary glands to produce more milk.

It is important to note that every woman's experience with breastfeeding and milk production can vary. Some women may notice their milk coming in earlier or later than two to five days, while others may experience challenges with milk production.

It is recommended that new mothers nurse frequently and empty their breasts completely to establish and maintain a healthy milk supply. If you have any concerns about your milk supply or your baby's feeding, speak with your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant for support and guidance.

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