Will I able to make enough milk? Will baby be satisfied only on breastfeeding?Will exclusive breastfeeding enable baby to grow as per standards?
A new mother is full of doubts.She is not sure whether her supplies are adequate or not? Common myth that prevails is that there is no milk for first three days. Another common myth that prevails is Since mother is not allowed to eat anything post caesarean for first 2 days,she wont make milk or make enough milk!
So when does breast start producing milk ?What is the need of newborns ?How much milk is considered optimum?Are there any signs that baby is getting enough?
I had come across a mother who was told that there will be no milk for first 3 days post delivery.So she never attempted to breastfeed .Baby was given bottle from day 1 .Result baby started to refuse breastfeeding later on when mother attempted to latch her.Mother came to me at near 1 month postpartum.
Post my consultation baby started to latch and mother was so elated with joy .
So when does milk production begins.
Breast start producing milk when mother is 12 weeks pregnant.Initial milk that expresses after delivery is called colostrum . Colostrum is thick , sticky oranges color milk.Though its quantity is less ,it is packed with nutrients.It provides required calories to newborn.Colostrum matures to mature milk by day 4 or 5 post delivery.
Milk production entirely works on demand and supply principle. More the baby sucks is at breast ,more milk production is going to happen.
So we conclude saying that even immediately after delivery there is milk in breast for baby.
Next concern is Will that drops of milk be enough for newborn?
Neonate stomach size is as follows
So as we have seen baby’s stomach size is less and also his gut is filled with black ,tarry material called meconium .Hence colostrum which is powerhouse of nutrition is enough for newborn.Colostrum along with providing energy,proteins,vitamins,immunity also helps in clearing meconium from the baby’s gut. It acts as laxative.
Another concern which commonly bothers new mother is how this sticky material ,colostrum which is so difficult to express be available to newborn baby.Answer to this is very simple.
Breastfeeding is simple yet complex interplay of hormones and maternal emotions.When baby latches at breast or stays in close skin to skin contact with mother ,it activates let down reflex in mother and hence the milk which is bit difficult to express becomes easily available to baby.
Initial days or to be specific hours are very crucial .1st hour post birth is referred to as “Golden hour”
It is adjustment period for newborn who is trying to cope with a total new environment.Hence the best way we can help baby to have smooth transition from womb to world is by giving uninterrupted skin to skin contact with mother and unrestricted access to breast.
In this blog I have tried to answer the most haunting question “ When does body start producing milk post delivery”
So hope this helps clear many myths prevalent regarding breastmilk production immediately after delivery.
Happy and informed lactation journey to all new mothers out there.
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