Breastfeeding: Making milk – yes, you can

Breastfeeding offers optimal nutrition for infants as it provides many benefits for society, mothers and babies. Every woman should know what to expect in the first few days.

Many women thinking about breastfeeding wonder whether they’ll be able to make enough milk for their baby. The good news is that every woman who gives birth will make milk. The even better news is that no matter your breast size, your body and your baby will work as a team to coordinate your milk supply with your baby’s needs.

 In the first few days of your baby’s life, the more often and the longer you breastfeed or express (remove milk either by hand or with a breast pump), the more milk your body will make. This first milk is called colostrum. Colostrum is all your baby needs in the first few days of life. It gives your baby superior nutrition and disease protection in her first few days of life. In fact, colostrum is such a good disease fighter that it’s almost like your baby’s first, natural immunization against many bacteria and viruses. On day one, your baby’s stomach is only about the size of a large marble.

The more you breastfeed in the first few days, the more milk you will make. By the third day of your baby’s life his stomach is about the size of a ping-pong ball and grows to the size of an egg by day ten. By the first or second month, your milk supply will have adapted to your baby’s needs and breasts won’t feel as full as they did right after he was born. This doesn’t mean you don’t have enough milk for your baby. It just means your body has adjusted to feed your baby the amount he needs.

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