As soon as the placenta detaches after delivery, information is sent to your brain for your body to start producing milk. Your breasts have been preparing since the first weeks of pregnancy and are ready for lactation at 16 weeks pregnant.
The size of your breasts does not affect your ability to produce milk for your baby. Moreover, your baby is programmed to stimulate your breasts during your first days together. Breastfeeding is a real team effort based on trust that you have the ability to produce milk and that your baby knows what to do and takes the lead.
The more your baby suckles, the more your breasts empty, and the more milk you will make. Let yourself be guided by your baby. The best thing to do is follow their pace, even if cluster feeding sometimes happens, especially in the evening or at night. Lactation hormones (prolactin) are secreted more at night in order to build up your milk supply for the following day. This is why it is so important for you and your baby to get into a pattern of feeding and rest when they are sleeping between daytime feeds.
Until your milk ‘comes in’ around day three, you will only produce small amounts of milk to help your baby’s stomach gently adapt. On day one, it is firm and the size of a marble, so a little milk goes a long way and a few drops of highly-concentrated colostrum, the first milk you produce when starting to breastfeed, are enough for your baby. Your breasts will gradually start to make more milk, especially once your milk comes in.
The maternity team at Hôpital de La Tour