Breastfeeding is a special time in your baby’s life, but there’s often lots of practice involved with getting it right! One of the tricks to breastfeeding is that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. What works for you might not work for someone else, and all you can do is spend time with your baby and figure things out together. One of the biggest questions that new mums have is about breastfeeding frequency. So, how soon does milk replenish after breastfeeding? We’re going to find out together!
How Soon Does Milk Replenish After Breastfeeding?
It’s a bit of a myth that your baby can completely drain your breasts of milk. During a normal feed your baby will only remove about 75% of the milk. That means there’s almost always some milk available. Plus, while you’re nursing, your breasts are always making milk. All that happens during feeding is that your milk flow is reduced to the point where significant amounts can’t be expressed.
To put a number on it, it usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes after feeding to generate enough milk for your baby, and about 60 minutes to replenish fully. The more often your baby feeds, and the more they empty your breasts, the more milk your body will produce. That means a hungry baby can actually cause your milk supply to replenish even faster after each feeding!
How Breast Milk is Made
Your body is always making milk. That means there’s no need to wait for the supply to “replenish” between feedings. In fact, waiting a long time between feeding your baby can actually reduce your milk supply. That’s because your body does an amazing job of producing the right amount of milk to keep your baby happy.
There are three main things involved with breast milk production:
- Your brain. Pregnancy and feeding causes your brain to release prolactin and oxytocin. These hormones signal to your body that it’s time to produce milk. As you and your baby get more comfortable with feeding, it gets easier to relax into the routine and allow your body to fine tune your milk supply.
- Your breasts. Milk is made by special cells in your breasts. After the milk is produced, it’s squeezed through milk ducts so that your baby can eat.
- Your baby. The more milk your baby drinks, the more your body makes. Pretty simple. It’s normal for the amount of milk you’re making to go up and down based on how often your baby is eating. Nursing as often, and for as long as your baby wants, encourages your body to make more milk.
Tips for Increasing Milk Production
The amount of milk you’re producing usually comes down to your baby. The more bub wants to feed, the more milk you’ll make! Everyone’s breastfeeding journey is a little different, so remember to relax and do your best to avoid stressing about milk production. Your body knows what it’s doing, and things should reach a happy medium as you and your baby gain more experience.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to increase breast milk production:
- Breastfeed your baby when they ask (usually 8 or more times per day)
- Try to relax – breast milk production responds to stress, so staying relaxed helps
- Maintain a good diet with three meals a day (and snacks too!)
- Get plenty of rest
- Stay hydrated with lots of water
- Avoid things that are known to reduce breast milk production like smoking or having lots of caffeine
Because breast milk depends on how often your baby is feeding, it’s totally normal for milk production to change over time. If you’re worried, you can always talk to your GP or a lactation consultant, so help is never far away!
Support for Your Breastfeeding Journey with Mad House Mums!
Breastfeeding is a big part of raising a baby for many. The best thing you can do while nursing is to listen to your body, stay relaxed and let your baby lead the way. If you’re ready to cuddle up and feed your baby, take a look at the breastfeeding clothes offered by Mad House Mums! Our range of breastfeeding tops, dresses, sweaters and pyjamas has been designed by real mums. We’ve designed our range to be perfect for everyday life during breastfeeding (and beyond!). Each piece features super comfy materials and a discreet side zip that makes our tops the perfect fashion piece for every part of your life. You can browse our range online at any time, or get in touch with us if you have questions about our products!