I'm pleased to welcome Gina Ciagne, Director of Breastfeeding Relations and Outreach at Lansinoh Laboratories Inc., back to Metropolitan Mama to answer a common question that brand new moms ask.
Q: How do I know if my milk has come in?
GINA'S ANSWER: During pregnancy and when the baby is first born, moms produce a super-concentrated form of early milk called colostrum. Even if you don’t feel “full” during those first couple of days after birth, you do have nourishment for your baby. Every woman is different but commonly a mom’s milk will increase in quantity and change from the concentrated and dense colostrum to mature milk within the first week after birth (often between days 2 and 6).
It is important to nurse “on demand” and not by watching the clock. Nursing on demand means watching the baby for hunger cues such as rooting, sucking on fingers, smacking lips. Nursing as often as the baby wants helps ensure that a mom will be able to establish a good milk supply and reduces the possibility of engorgement or swollen breasts. It is very important not to limit the amount of time your baby spends on the breast especially in the early weeks when the milk supply is being established. Remember, breastfeeding is based on supply and demand—when milk is expressed or nursed by the baby, it signals the body to make more milk and thereby helps to establish the milk supply.
On a personal note, I experienced a fever when my milk came in (I think that's fairly common), but I didn't realize that it was related. I actually didn't even know that my milk had come in until I went to an appointment with a lactation consultant several days after birth. If you're unsure, don't be afraid to call and ask a lactation consultant at a nearby hospital or birth center.
WIN IT! One mom will receive a 36-pad box of Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads. To enter, simple leave a comment and your e-mail address on this post prior to Thursday, December 6th, at midnight. The winner will be announced and contacted on Friday, December 7th. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
* UPDATED * The winner is #6 bess. Congratulations!