Your breastmilk supply will rapidly increase within days of your baby being born.
You may hear this change called your milk “coming in”.
It usually happens between days 2 and 5. If you have given birth before, you may notice it happen sooner than last time.
As the volume increases, your colostrum is replaced by mature breastmilk, which is thin and bluish-white in appearance.
What happens to breasts?
You may notice that your breasts swell and become fuller and heavier. This is a sign that the tissue in your breasts is filling with milk, blood and other fluids to kick-start your milk production.
For some women, this change is quite sudden – they wake up with larger breasts and may leak milk. For others it is more gradual. This change happens as a result of hormones in your body. It happens whether your baby is feeding from your breasts or not.
However, if you breastfeed early and often, your breasts will quickly begin to make more milk and you will build a strong supply. Your baby will lose less weight and be less likely to be jaundiced. It will also help you to meet your baby's needs as they begin to drink larger amounts.
My breasts are too full!
Some mums find their breasts are more than just full during this time - they are hard, swollen and tender. Their baby has difficulty attaching to the breast and their nipples can get damaged as a result. The milk does not flow well. This is known as engorgement, and there are things you can do to help.