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What To Expect During Lactation

What To Expect During Lactation

Lactation and breastfeeding aren’t the same for every mother. It’s important to remember that every baby is different. Each baby learns to breastfeed by latching, sucking, and swallowing. Sometimes it takes one baby longer than another baby to breastfeed successfully. The mother is learning how to position their baby, observe their hunger cues, and manage her breast milk supply. One of the most important things about your breastfeeding journey is to know what to expect during lactation. The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado provides mothers in Northern Colorado with lactation information.

The First Weeks Of Breastfeeding

As your milk comes in, you’ll notice your breasts are hard, full, and warm. Your baby may start to breastfeed during this time frequently. Your breasts may begin to leak, but they should slow down as your baby and body get used to breastfeeding. Engorgement of your breasts happens a few weeks after birth. Your breasts may feel uncomfortable as they become accustomed to filling and emptying to feed the baby. The first few days of breastfeeding are often difficult for your nipples as they are sensitive and often crack or become sore from sucking. Breastfeeding should become easier as your baby gets a proper latch. Watch for clogged milk ducts or a breast infection (mastitis) during the production of milk. If you have extreme pain or fever during breastfeeding, contact your doctor.

Stage 1 Colostrum Phase

Colostrum is a thick fluid made during the first stage of lactation. Colostrum has been stored in your mammary glands waiting for your baby to arrive. Autocrine control happens if milk is removed or not and is hormone-driven. Colostrum production continues until your milk comes in. There is no need to worry if you haven’t noticed colostrum the first few days. If you have any concerns about this stage, we’ll provide you support and answers.

Stage 2 Demand-And-Supply Phase

The scientific names for the “Demand-And-Supply” phase are Lactogenesis II and Galactopoesis (Lactogenesis III). Lactogenesis II happens when your body transfers from colostrum to human milk. This change happens about day three. You may notice fuller breasts and increased breast warmth. Galactopoiesis (Lactogenesis III) is your body’s way of maintaining milk production. During this stage, frequent milk removal is required to keep up your body’s milk supply. If you have too little stimulation, you won’t reach your maximum production of milk potential. Your baby will essentially demand the supply of their milk. Some women may have an ample supply of breast milk, while others have a lower supply. If you’re concerned, contact a lactation consultant for more information.

Contact Us for an Appointment

The final stage of milk is mature milk that the baby will drink until breastfeeding is stopped. This milk may be foremilk or milk rich in fats. The milk changes according to the baby’s needs for nutrition. Breastfeeding support is important during all stages. It’s often difficult to understand each stage of breastfeeding and lactation. We know search engines don’t give you all the answers, so we offer our support and educational resources. Our lactation consultants can help guide you through the breastfeeding process. At The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado, we promise to uplift and support new mothers through their breastfeeding journey. Always feel free to ask us questions or voice your concerns about lactating. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.