As a nursing mother, your breast milk is very important to your baby as it contains nutrients needed for the baby’s growth and development.
As a first-time nursing mom, several questions like how long does it take for breast milk to fill back up? How much milk should I be producing? What happens if baby drinks spoiled breast milk comes to mind?
As you may know, milk production is a demand and supply process. As milk is removed from your breasts, your body is triggered to make more milk.
The more frequently and thoroughly the breasts are emptied (though breasts are never truly “emptied”), the faster they try to refill although breasts are never truly empty. Read on as we answer your questions.
How Much Milk Should I Be Producing?
The rate of milk production varies all through the day with the milk supply usually high in the morning and gradually decreases as the day goes by. Write down on your Expressing Log Sheet when you are pumping and how much you express. Sum this up every day.
Usually, when you are expressing milk after giving birth, volumes will vary from day-to-day, but you should see a gradual increase. Every mother differs greatly in volumes expressed.
- A general average can be estimated:
- By day 5: Up to 200 to 300ml per 24 hours.
- By day 8: Up to 400 to 500ml per 24 hours.
- By day 14: Up to 750ml per 24 hours.
- Thereafter: 750 to 1000ml per day.
- During the first few days, you will express colostrum. If you express a few drops, it is normal. Milk usually “comes in” around the third day, but may not until several days later.
- Every drop of milk is valuable, no matter how much you are producing. Your breast milk provides your baby with every nutritional and immunological benefit. Hence, when it’s time to breastfeed your baby, your volume may significantly increase.
How Long Does It Take For Breast Milk To Fill Back Up?
During breastfeeding, breasts always make milk, so your breast is never empty. However, what is referred to be emptying the breast is when the flow of the milk slows down so much, so no significant amount of milk can be expressed.
After this stage, it takes approximately 20–30 minutes for the breast to “fill up” again, i.e. for the milk flow to be faster.
It is, not advised to start expressing milk again immediately after the breast “fills” up again, as breastfeeding works on a principle of supply and demand, so the more milk than the baby drinks or that the mother expresses, the more milk that her breasts will make.
So if you regularly express so frequently, you will end up with an oversupply of milk, which can lead to engorgement and possible infection of the milk ducts. If you are exclusively expressing, it is best advised that you express every 2 to 3 hours around the clock.
Read Also: Breastfeeding Tips For First Time Mothers
Why Milk Production May Be Low?
- If you are sick or stressed
- Hormonal disorders like thyroid or pituitary imbalances
- Retained placental fragments
- Returning to work
- Some drugs can cause problems with establishing a supply
- Cold and flu can also affect milk production
- Do not use hormonal birth control before your baby is six-to-eight weeks old
10 Tips For Increasing Milk Supply
- Try cuddling your baby and play some relaxation music this helps reduce stress.
- Expressing next to your baby and after cuddles usually results in more milk being expressed.
- Good diet and rest are important.
- Try to reduce your caffeine intake to less than three cups of instant coffee per day.
- Do not diet while expressing milk for your baby.
- Try reducing the number of cigarettes smoked each day. Never express while you are smoking or after smoking.
- When expressing, double pump for no less than 10 minutes each breast, wait 10 minutes, then express again until milk flow ceases, plus a further two minutes.
- Hand express after pumping to drain the breast further and stimulate more milk production. Express at least 8-10 times in 24 hours. Remember, warm compresses and massaging helps in breast “let-down”.
- Ensure you have a breast pump that is designed for mothers who are establishing or maintaining their milk supply by expressing milk for their babies.
- Double pumping – using two expressing kits to express both sides at the same time – with a hospital-grade electric pump is more efficient if you are expressing long-term.
If these measures are not helping, do not forget to consult your doctor at the hospital about medication that can assist in building up the milk supply. Once you taking medication, it is very important to always check your progress with the doctor.
- How To Increase Milk Supply In One Breast?
- How To Relieve Sore Nipple While Breastfeeding
- How Long Does It Take For Breast Milk To Dry Up?
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- How Long Did You Breastfeed?
- Foods That Make Breast Milk Taste Good
I expect this article has answered your questions especially on “how long does it take for breast milk to fill back up”. If you need help in increasing your milk supply, why not start following any of these tips today?
If you have any questions or would like to share some other tips and experiences with breastfeeding your baby, drop your comment or suggestion down below. We would love to hear it