How is breastmilk made?
Breasts often become fuller and during pregnancy. This is a big sign that the alveoli, cells that make breastmilk, are getting ready to work. Some women do not feel these big changes in their breasts. And Other women may feel these changes after their baby is born.
The alveoli make milk in reply to the hormone prolactin. Prolactin levels go up when the baby suckles. Levels of another hormone, oxytocin, also go up when the baby suckles. This causes short muscles in the breast to contract and move the milk through the milk ducts. This moving of the milk is called the “let-down reflex.” Learn about the let-down reflex.
The release of prolactin and oxytocin may make you feel a big sense of needing to be with your baby.
What if my breastmilk supply goes down?
If you don’t feel as “full” as you did in the first few days of breastfeeding, you may worry that you are not making big milk for your baby. You know that the milk is still there and flowing to your baby. Usually, after a few days of breastfeeding, your body learns to make the best and right amount of milk for your baby.
Also, your baby may only nurse for small periods, such as five minutes at each feeding. These are not signs of a small milk supply. Your body adjusts to meet the needs of your baby, and your baby gets too good at getting milk from the breast. It’s also typical for your baby to continue to nurse longer on each breast at each feeding.
Make more breastmilk?
The good way to make more breastmilk is to breastfeed often and to empty your breasts completely at each feeding.
To better empty your breasts follow these tips:
- Use breast oily massage and compression.
- Offer your children both breasts at each nursing.
- Pump after nursing if your baby does not clear all the milk from your breasts. Your breasts will soften when the milk is clear. If the baby empties your breasts, then you can pump to remove milk and increase big milk production between nursing sessions.
How often should I breastfeed?
You Should Be start Breastmilk as soon as possible after giving birth. Then, breastfeed your baby every 1 to 2 hours each day so that you will make plenty of milk. This means that in the first week after birth, your baby will probably need to breastfeed about every two to three hours during the day and a few times at night.
Healthy children develop their own feeding patterns. Follow your baby’s cues for when he or she is also ready to eat.
How long should I breastfeed my baby?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding as the only source of food for the first 6 months of your infant life. The AAP recommends continuing breastfeeding (after starting solid food) beyond your baby’s first birthday and for as long as both you and your children would like.3 The simple and most natural time to wean is when your baby leads the process. But how you feel is also important in deciding when to wean.
Your decision may depend on several factors, such as returning to work, your or your baby’s health, or a feeling that the time is too right.
Should I stop breastfeeding
You can usually continue to breastfeed your children when you are sick, and if your children are sick. If you need to rest you can hand express breastmilk for someone else to feed the baby. But if you are sick with the flu, including the H1N1 flu (also called the swine flu), do not touch or be near your children, so that you do not infect him or her. Have someone who is not sick feed your children your pumped breastmilk.