Your body is very clever; in fact you are making breast milk in the form of colostrum before your baby is even born.
When your baby arrives they can drink this while waiting for your full breast milk to ‘come in’, this happens anywhere from three-to-seven days after you’ve given birth.
However, this is usually dependent on the type of birth you’ve had, how much you are stimulating the breasts by feeding or expressing and other physiological factors including yours and the baby’s health.
Don’t stress out if it’s taking longer than you think it should to arrive because when it comes in you will definitely know about it.
Unfortunately for some women breastfeeding and breast milk production is not possible for a range of reasons, including the inability to produce, breast surgery, certain medications, and an inability of the baby to breastfeed.
In many instances, women just do not like breastfeeding. Either way it is your choice and you are not a failure as a mother if you cannot breastfeed.
Learning to breastfeed can be difficult for many mothers because it’s a learned skill that needs practice. Lucky many babies are feeding every two-to-four hours so you get plenty of practice.
While you are in hospital it’s wise to take advantage of the midwives expertise and get them to show you the various ways you can breastfeed your child.
Find the way that suits you and your baby and ask the midwife to check to make sure you’ve got the attachment and positioning correct, this will help reduce that chance of damaged nipples.
How can I tell if my baby is getting enough?
- They will settle after feeding
- They feed about 8-12 times a day
- Your baby should have between 6 to 8 wet nappies every 24 hours
- After the first few poos (black to green) they will be a yellowish colour with a seeded-mustard consistency
- You baby consistently sucks and swallows in a rhythmic way at the breast. They might have to pause to catch their breath but you will hear milk being swallowed.
Remember, some breastfed babies can go up to a week without having a bowel motion.
If you think your breast milk supply is low you can use a breast pump after a breastfeed to increase supply. Often expressing for 10 minutes on each side can help stimulate production. Keeping up your fluids can also help.
When you’re breastfeeding it’s suggested that you allow your baby to demand feed. Offer both breasts but make sure the first breast is emptied before offering the second. Start on the second side first when the next feed comes around.
Some women will feel a let-down when the breast milk is changing to the hind, more fatty milk, during a feed. It is often described as a tingly feeling.
Hint: To help you remember which side to start on next put a hair tie around your wrist!
For more support with your breastfeeding speak to:
- A local lactation consultant
- Maternal child health Nurse/ 24 hour Maternal Health Hotline 13 22 29 (Victoria)
- Australian Breastfeeding Association
- Other friends and family who have breastfed, parent groups
- Raising Children’s Network
Have you tried our breastfeeding-friendly Healthy Mummy Smoothies?
The Healthy Mummy smoothie has been created to help mums benefit from a wide range of nutrients which can also help support your healthy eating plan and exercise routine if you are trying to lose weight.
The smoothie range has been formulated by leading nutritionists, dieticians and with input from Monash University.
It offers an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and important antioxidants.
It’s also free from any weight loss accelerants, caffeine, contains no wheat ingredients, no fructose, is 96 per cent sugar free and is dairy free.
You can download our information fact sheet here. You can also download the smoothie label and ingredient list here.