The production of milk actually starts during your pregnancy, however, milk doesn’t actually come in properly in most cases until 2-5 days post-delivery.
Initially, your body will begin producing colostrum. Colostrum is a substance which contains extremely high amounts of nutrients to help your baby thrive through those very first few days.
By day 3, you will likely know your milk has already came in.
Signs your milk has ‘come in‘:
- Fullness of the breast
- Milk becomes less golden, more white
Possible reasons for delay in milk coming in (delayed onset of lactation, DOL):
- If it’s your first baby, sometimes milk can take a little longer than women who already have children
- Labour factors – e.g. medication, stress, c-section, blood loss etc.
- Maternal Health – issues that affect hormones of mother.
The above list of possible reasons is not exhaustive, if you have any concerns regarding your milk not coming in, please contact an assigned health care professional.
My milk hasn’t come in, what do I do?
- Plenty of skin to skin contact
- Monitor baby’s weight closely to ensure they are receiving enough milk
- Speak to a health care professional/lactation consultant
- Hand express – the more you empty the breast of milk, the more you will signal to your body to produce more milk
Don’t worry if your milk is slow to come in, keep trying and make sure you use all the support and resources available to you.
Nhs.uk. (2017). Breastfeeding: the first few days – Pregnancy and baby guide – NHS Choices. [online] Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/breastfeeding-first-days.aspx#colostrum [Accessed 1 Sep. 2017].
Please note: Our information is provided for educational purposes and is accurate at the time of publishing. Please do not use our information as a substitute for information provided to you by your health care provider. Unless otherwise stated, posts on our website are not written by doctors or other health care professionals.