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    When Does Breast Milk Come In During Pregnancy?

    Breast Changes

    When Does Breast Milk Come In During Pregnancy?

    Updated on 8 May 2023

    If you're expecting a baby, you must have already started to worry about their nutrition, growth and development. And there's no better source of nutrition for babies than their mothers' breast milk. As a result, it's natural to wonder when does breast milk come in during pregnancy. While some women may experience milk production during pregnancy, others may not start producing milk until after delivery.

    In this article, we'll explore the factors that can affect when breast milk comes in, signs you're producing breast milk during pregnancy and what to do if your milk is delayed. Whether you're a first-time mother or have had previous pregnancies, this article will provide valuable insights to help you prepare for your baby's arrival.

    Which Month Breast Milk Starts During Pregnancy?

    Pregnant women typically start to produce breast milk around the 16th to 22nd week of pregnancy i.e. 4-5th months and second trimester. However, it can also start as early as the first trimester or as late as the third trimester. The milk produced during pregnancy is called colostrum and is very high in nutrients and antibodies, which helps protect newborns from infections.

    When breast milk begins to be produced during pregnancy is different for every woman. It can start as early as the third month or as late as the last or ninth month. If you have never been pregnant before, chances are that you will not notice any changes in your breasts until the fourth or fifth month. By then, most women's breasts have increased in size and begun to produce milk.

    Some women, however, do not notice any changes until they are well into their sixth month or even later. If you are concerned that you are not producing milk, talk to your doctor. They can help ensure that you are healthy and that your baby gets the nutrition they need.

    When Does Breast Milk Come In After Delivery?

    Now that you know when does breast milk come in during pregnancy, it's also important to know when your body starts releasing breast milk after delivering the baby. After delivery, it takes about 3-4 days for the milk to "come in," and for the breasts to feel firmer, indicating an increase in milk supply.

    The second phase, transitional milk, replaces colostrum, and changes in color from yellow to bluish-white, adapting to the baby's needs. The third phase, mature milk, is produced 10-15 days after birth and contains all the necessary nutrients for the baby's growth and development. It's important to understand the process of breast milk production and be prepared for breastfeeding before the baby arrives.

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    Signs You're Producing Breast Milk During Pregnancy

    The signs of producing breast milk during pregnancy can include:

    • breast engorgement
    • swelling of the breasts
    • breast milk leakage (particularly overnight)
    • feeling of fullness, heaviness and/or firmness
    • pain or soreness in the breasts

    It is important to note that hormones play a significant role in milk production during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Whereas which month breast milk start during pregnancy can depend on hormones, your nutritional status and health conditions.

    What to do if your breast milk production is delayed?

    Some women's breasts may never produce milk or may only produce a small amount. This is most often due to medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, certain medications, or insufficient glandular tissue. Hormonal imbalances, previous breast surgery, and psychological factors can also play a role. If you're having trouble producing breast milk, talk to your doctor about possible causes and treatment options.

    If you are experiencing delayed breast milk production during pregnancy, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the issue. Maternal factors such as stress, anxiety, and existing health conditions can affect milk production. Additionally, nutritional status, partner's support, and overall health can influence lactation outcomes. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and seeking medical attention if necessary are important steps to ensure optimal milk production and breastfeeding success.

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    It's normal for an expecting mom to have concerns around breastfeeding and whether she'll be able to do it well. To make this journey less daunting and reduce any potential anxieties, it is advisable to seek assistance from a lactation consultant even before the baby's arrival. Knowing when does breast milk come in during pregnancy and if your production is delayed can help you adopt a proactive approach. This proactive approach can help you prepare for potential challenges and navigate the breastfeeding process with greater ease.


    1. Asztalos, E.V., Kiss, A., da Silva, O.P. et al. (2018). Pregnancy gestation at delivery and breast milk production. MHNP Journal
    2. Pillay J, Davis TJ. (2018). Physiology, Lactation. NCBI
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