The most common questions that kept ranging in my head when I first decided to breastfeed was MILK SUPPLY.
I am not even a B cup, so I thought my supply will be very low or may not be able to meet my baby needs.
But the good news was, irregardless of the size of our breast, our milk supply WILL meet the requirements of our baby. Yeah! Lucky me. *wink*
Breast-milk starts to produce in our breast when we are in our 5th and 6th months of pregnancy. Meaning, breast-milk is present even before your baby is born! So you never need to worry that you do not have milk in your breasts for the baby.
Colostrum is the early milk made by your breasts. Once the baby is born, it is present in small amounts for the first 3 days to match the small size of the baby’s stomach.
Colostrum is designed to meet the special needs of a newborn. Colostrum has a yellow color, is thick in consistency, is high in protein, and low in fat and sugar. The protein content is three times higher than mature milk because it is rich in the immunities being passed from the mother to protect the baby. It also acts as a natural laxative, helping the baby pass the first stools called meconium, which is black in colour.
No matter how much rejections you face, insist on breastfeeding as soon as possible after giving birth and every 1 to 3 hours per 24 hours (8-12 times per 24 hours) to allow your baby to receive this valuable milk.
After the 3 days, your milk will change and increase in quantity. It may take longer depending on when breastfeeding was initiated and breastfeeding frequency. The change in milk occurs a little earlier if you have breastfed before.
So for the 1st 3 days, I was practically feeding all the time to increase my milk supply even faster. The more you feed, the faster your breast is filled up. Yes, it may be tiring for the first few days, but its all worth it, ‘cos it gets so much easier as the days go by.
Every-time when you start to breastfeed, the first milk the baby receives is called fore-milk , which appears thin and watery with a light blue tinge. Fore-milk is composed largely of water and is necessary to satisfy your baby’s thirst. So please you do not need to feed your baby with water from the bottle at all!
Hind-milk has the highest concentration of fat and is released after several minutes of nursing. It is similar in consistency to cream and will have a soporific (sleepy) effect on your baby. Hind-milk is important for your baby to feel satisfied and to gain adequate weight. Feed your baby until you see a sleepy, satisfied look on his/her face.
Did it ever cross your mind that you may have “Weak breast milk”? I did! Luckily all the breastfeeding support groups I called said there is no such thing. Your body will combine the exact ingredients necessary to meet your baby’s requirements.