What Helps Milk Come In Faster
Breastfeeding is best for babies, but it’s not always easy. Many new mothers wonder what can help milk come in faster after giving birth.
There are many factors that impact the process of milk coming in, so let’s break them down one by one as well as the top 15 tips for getting your milk in faster!
Breastfeeding is the best thing because breast milk provides all the nutrients a newborn needs during its first months of life. However, breastfeeding takes time to get started and mothers may have many questions about this process.
Colostrum impacts your baby’s health in many ways and knowing how colostrum works will help you understand why breastfeeding is so important for babies’ development. Also, we’ll show you how much colostrum should I be making? And when should I start making it? You’ll find answers here!
Breast milk is the best food for babies, but it’s also very complex. Mothers may wonder how to make milk come in faster after giving birth, but there are many factors that impact this process. Read on to find out what can help milk come in faster and how colostrum impacts your baby’s health.
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When Does My Milk Come In?
Colostrum starts to be produced as early as 16 weeks during your pregnancy. So you already have milk for your baby once they are born. Most new moms don’t know that they are already producing this nutrient dense milk since it can be hard to express. Your baby’s stomach is very small at birth and only needs 1/2-2 tsp of colostrum to get enough milk the first day of life and gradually increases from there.
The Importance of Colostrum
Colostrum is an amazing power house, also known as liquid gold that is full of nutrients to protect your baby once they are born.
Your baby’s gut will benefit from colostrum, which protects him against the germs in his environment. It acts as a barrier by coating the intestines and fencing out these organisms, thus preventing them from being absorbed into your infant’s system. This barrier prevents germs from entering your infant’s system, ensuring that they stay healthy.
Colostrum destroys germs and provides protection against inflammation. It’s also a laxative, and it will help in the removal of your baby’s system of meconium, the sticky dark poop your newborn has that accumulates while they are still in your belly. Early elimination of meconium minimizes jaundice.
Colostrum is essential for all newborns, but it is especially significant for preterm infants. Premature babies who receive their own mother’s colostrum have superior health outcomes than those who do not.
When Will My Milk Increase?
The Process where your milk switches over to more mature milk and increases in volume happens around 30-40 hours after your placenta has been delivered. You can expect it to be in full effect by day 2-3. Some mothers will feel a gradual change in the first week while others will be more sudden.
Here are signs your milk is increasing
- Firmness or tingling in breasts (the let-down reflex)
- Breasts leaking
- Breast milk changes to thinner and whiter
15 Ways to Help Milk Come in Faster
Once your baby is born, if you can, have immediate skin to skin with your baby. Continue to have as much skin to skin and hold your baby as much as possible for those first few days. This helps to create the oxytocin that will help your milk come in faster.
Drink Mother’s Milk Teas Or Fenugreek
Some mothers swear by drinking mother’s milk tea which you can find at any local grocery store or you could try Fenugreek if they don’t have it pre-made. These are some great natural ways to boost your supply. You take these teas 3-4 times a day until milk comes in or any time that you want to boost breast milk production.
Nursing within the first hour of birth
This is called the golden hour. This is when oxytocin is at its highest. Now is the time to start breastfeeding and bond with your baby.
Breastfeeding on demand
The best way to get your milk in is to breastfeed as much as possible. It is recommended that your baby nurses every 3 hours but the more that you baby is breastfeeding, the more your body is getting the message that it is time to make milk and the more the better. So let your baby feed as much as they want. Check out this breastfeeding log to track your nursing sessions.
Eating lactogenic foods
Eating lactogenic foods like oats and brewer’s yeast along with a balanced diet full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables can boost your breast milk supply and the fact that they can taste like a cookie is a big bonus! You can buy lactation cookies or make some from home. For a lactation cookie recipe click here and for a lactation smoothie recipe click here.
Breast massage while you are breastfeeding can help a lot to help your milk to come in or even when you are dealing with engorgement and dealing with clogged milk ducts. You can use your hands or use a massager.
Connect with a lactation consultant
Lactation consultants are a wealth of knowledge. If you are worried about a low milk supply, it is so important that you meet with one or two while you are at the hospital or birth center. If you are doing a home birth, you can schedule a home visit with one as well. They will ensure that your baby has a good latch so your body is getting those signals telling it that it’s time to make that milk.
Early hospital discharge
When you are in the hospital, you will be interrupted by a lot by the staff to continuously run tests. You also might have visitors coming to meet the baby. This can all be a distraction from you having skin on skin with your baby and breastfeeding as much as possible. If you can, ask your healthcare provider to get discharged early so you can settle into home life with your baby as soon as possible.
Use a breast pump
If for some reason you are unable to bring your baby to breast, you can also use a breast pump. Using a breast pump will help empty your breast to tell your body that it is time to make more since breast milk is a demand and supply system. You can also do a pumping session after you nurse. You might not get that much milk at first but it will tell your body to make more if your baby is done or too sleepy to nurse. Check out my breast pump log and inventory list to stay organized while you pump so that your extra milk doesn’t go to waste!
Try hand expression
If you don’t have access to a breast pump, you can always use your hands to express milk. You can also hand express while you are breastfeeding your baby to help move things along.
You need to drink a lot of water when you are breastfeeding. So staying hydrated is important. Try to drink a glass of water every time you sit down to breastfeed your baby. This can directly affect the amount of milk you make.
Take time for pumping or breastfeeding
You can get really busy as a new mom with all the visitors but it’s so important that you stop and rest during this time and make time to breastfeed as often as possible. It may seem like you are breastfeeding 24/7 already but you baby is still not as efficient at sucking so you might have to stop and make more time for this until they get the hang of things and become more efficient.
Recognize hunger cues
If you baby is smacking their lips and bring their hands to their mouth, this is a sign that they are hungry. Try to notice the early signs of hunger before they get too hungry. You might have a harder time getting them to latch if they aren’t able to calm down. Plus, you want to tell your body as often as possible to produce more milk when your baby needs it.
Avoid pacifiers when possible. If you are not leaving your baby for a long time, then pacifiers should be avoided for the first month or until the breastfeeding relationship has been established. To read more on introducing a pacifier and when to avoid it read this.
A baby staycation is when you snuggle up in bed with your baby for a few days and rest together. This will not only lead to bonding and catching up on some much needed rest, but it also gives lots of opportunity for skin-to-skin contact and nursing on demand which is great for your supply if you are worried about not making enough breast milk.
Things That Can Delay Your Milk To Come In
Mothers having their first baby can have a delay of their milk coming in as opposed to someone that has already had children. Past trauma to the breast or breast reduction surgeries reducing the amount of breast tissue can lower production.
Other reasons can be tied to a long or traumatic birth or a lot of IV fluids. Other factors such as medical conditions can also affect your supply. See your doctor for medical advice if this is the case.
What To Do If My Milk Hasn’t Come In By Day 4?
If you’re making less milk than needed and it has not increased in volume by day 4, it’s best to meet with a lactation consultant again. This will help see what is the cause and what other things that you can do to boost your supply.
Related article: 9 Best Breastfeeding Tips for Producing More Milk
Breast milk is the best food for babies, but in the early days it can also feel very complex. Mothers may wonder how to make milk come in faster after giving birth, but the good news is there are many factors that impact this process. Meet with an international board certified lactation consultant to see what will be best for you. These are the top 15 tips for what helps milk come in faster. They have worked for me and I hope they are helpful for you!
Be sure to read The Best Supplements to Boost Your Supply
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