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What happens when my breast milk comes in?

Whether or not you plan to breastfeed, your body will still make milk after the birth. This is because delivery of the placenta sets off a response in your body that 'tells' the breasts to make milk.

The first few days of breastfeeding and beyond.

Around day 3-4, you'll probably notice your breasts becoming fuller and warmer. This is your milk 'coming in'. Your baby is ready for more milk and so your body is now producing more. It'll adapt according to your baby's needs and might look thin compared to colostrum (the concentrated milk you produce right after the birth), but it will get creamier as you continue to feed. Your breasts will be fuller and heavier than usual, but any discomfort you feel should pass in a couple of days.

The let-down reflex

When your baby sucks during breastfeeding, your milk is squeezed down ducts towards your nipples. This causes a strong tingling feeling for some women, although others won't feel anything at all. You'll notice your baby responding with deep rhythmic swallows as the milk starts to flow. If your baby seems to fall asleep before the deep swallowing stage, check they’re properly attached. The video below shows how a correctly attached baby gets all the milk they need from their mum:

You can find out more about what to expect and how to prepare for your milk 'coming in' by following the links below:

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Last updated: 14 Sep, 2019