For any new mamas out there, it can sometimes be a little shocking when you feel your milk come in for the first time. Usually this happens the first couple of days after babe is born, but can your milk come in before baby arrives?
The short answer is yes
. All pregnant mamas are producing what is known as colostrum (or "first milk") even if you aren't sporting those classic wet circles due to leakage. Our breasts are prepping themselves for milk production, and our colostrum is good to go around the second trimester. But don't panic if you're not able to express it, or if it's not leaking! Unfortunately, when I was pregnant with my first I was producing milk around the 20-week mark, and it was enough to leak through a t-shirt (not a good look, mama).
Colostrum is appropriately titled the first milk, because it'll be the first thing your babe eats before your milk comes in after you deliver. Colostrum is higher in protein and more concentrated in nutrients and antibodies than mature breastmilk, so it's great for brand-new babes who won't be eating more than a few milliliters at a time. Unfortunately, it is also yellowish which means that if you're producing before babe is born, you're going to want to invest in some nursing pads, like Bamboobies
, or stick to wearing black.
When it comes down to when
you're going to start producing milk is never an exact science. Milk production will vary between pregnancies/births, but new moms tend to have milk come in about a day later than mothers with more than one child
. There's no firm research supporting that you will definitely get your milk earlier, that you will produce more, or that you will have an easier time with subsequent kids. Science does tell us that milk production is mainly hormone driven. So depending on the mama, and depending on the pregnancy, you will produce at different times and in different amounts. With my most recent pregnancy, I didn't get any leakage while pregnant, but my mature milk came in more quickly after delivery, and my production stayed about the same. Every mama is going to have a different experience!
Keep in mind that when your milk comes in, production is then all up to you and your baby. The more your babe eats the more your body is going to produce
. It's important to stay hydrated (drink TONS of water), eat foods high in iron and protein, eat lots of whole grains and veggies, and don't focus on the calories; your boobies and your babe will thank you, and your milk supply will hopefully keep up with your little one.
Whether you're starting to leak while babe's due date is months away, or if you're waiting for the let down post-delivery, remember that the girls are doing their best to make sure babe has what he/she needs once they're born. When your milk will come in, how much you will produce, and how long you're able to sustain it will be different for each mama, so don't compare! Trust me, when the time is right, you too will have the dreaded wet circles of death on your shirt for all the Target cashiers to see. XO