What Will My Milk Be Like?
Colostrum is the first breastmilk. This thick, rich milk provides all the nutrition your baby needs for the first days of life. It also helps protect your baby from infection. You will have colostrum for the first few days.
Breastmilk naturally changes to meet all the needs of your growing baby.
There will be a gradual change from colostrum to mature breastmilk over the next 2 weeks.
How Is Milk Made In The Breast?
During pregnancy, hormones cause small clusters of glands in your breast, called alveoli, to develop and make breastmilk. When your baby starts to breastfeed, his sucking causes a hormone called prolactin to be released. This signals the breast to make milk.
Another hormone called oxytocin causes the milk glands to contract, which moves milk out of the alveoli into the milk ducts. The ducts carry the milk towards the nipple.
To get milk, your baby needs to open his mouth wide and get the areola, not just the nipple, in his mouth. As oxytocin starts the flow of milk, you may feel a tingling feeling in your breasts. This is called the “let-down” or “milk ejection” reflex.
Your breasts continue to make breastmilk as your baby feeds. During a feeding, the breastmilk changes to meet the needs of your baby. The breastmilk made toward the end of a feeding has more fat, protein and calories. There is no such thing as an “empty” breast. There is always breastmilk in the breast. As your baby removes breastmilk, your breasts will make more milk to replace it.
|The more you feed your baby |
the more milk you will make.
Your breasts naturally adjust to make the right amount of breastmilk. As your baby grows, your breastmilk will change to meet his needs. If you have more than one baby, your breasts will be able to make enough breastmilk.