How long does it take to produce milk?

This article will answer the question “How long does it take to produce milk?”, and how to tell If your baby is ready to nurse? 

How long does it take to produce milk?

It takes about 3-4 days for your breasts to start producing milk. For the first 3-4 days after  delivery, your body will make pre-milk or colostrum. This liquid varies in consistency and color from thick and yellow to thin and watery. 

Colostrum works like an immunity booster for the newborn. Sucking colostrum for the first few days familiarizes the baby with nursing. 

It is best to start breastfeeding your newborn within an hour of the birth. If the baby is not able to nurse at this point, it is still a good practice to quaint your newborn with breastfeeding.

How do I get my baby to latch?

Make a nipple sandwich: Squeeze your breast like a sandwich with your thumb towards the baby’s nose and the fingers facing your baby’s chin. Do not squeeze too close to the nipple and areola, the baby should have enough area to latch onto.

Get your baby to open wide: Brush your nipple between your baby’s nose and lips. This will provide a stimulus for your baby to open wide.

Bring your baby to your breast: Move your baby closer to your breast when they are ready to nurse. The lips of your baby should be in a flanged position and the nose should gently touch the breast. The baby should be able to suck in the maximum areola.

How do I know my baby is getting enough to eat?


Due to the thick consistency of colostrum, you will only need to change diapers 1-2 times in the first 24 hours of birth. After 3-4 days, the diaper will need to be changed 6 or more times per day. 

The pee will be clear or pale yellow. Orange crystals in your baby’s pee indicate your baby is low on fluids. Darker colored pee indicates the same.


For the first 1-2 days, your newborn’s poop will be thick and tarry. After 3-4 days, your baby will poop about 4 times per day. The poop will be yellow and seedy. A month-old babies poop with less frequency.

Note: Your baby is drinking well If they sleep well, gradually gain weight, are vigilant when awake, do not seem dissatisfied after eating, and feed 8-12 times per day.

Other FAQs about Milk which you may be interested in.

What happens when adding milk to scrambled eggs?

What happens when adding milk to soup?

How can I tell when my baby’s ready to nurse?

Your baby is hungry If they shake their head side to side, open their mouth as if yawning, stretch out their tongue, suck on their hands and fists, pucker their lips as if to suck, push against mom’s breast, show the rooting reflex, etc. last but not the least, a crying baby is often a hungry baby.

Breast milk production 

The first day: Your breast milk production at birth

To stimulate the breast milk supply, let your baby practise nursing when they try to latch onto your breast. 

The first few days: Your breast milk coming in

After birth, it takes about 3-4 days for the progesterone level to drop which stimulates the production of milk-producing hormones, including prolactin, insulin, and hydrocortisone. When the milk production starts on the 3rd or 4th day, your breast will feel full and firm.

The first month: Building your breast milk supply

During the first weeks, milk production is very efficient to fulfill the demand. After feeding or expressing, breast milk production starts immediately to replenish the milk supply. 

Prolactin provides the stimulus. This is the time during which milk matures. It is recommended to feed your baby on demand during the first weeks to promote and sustain ilk supply.

Protecting your breast milk production in the first month

Taking breaks between feeds to allow your breast to make more milk won’t help the process. Rather, the frequent feeding action that leaves the breast empty is what stimulates milk production. It is important to feed or express milk frequently during the first weeks to build milk supply. 

Your breast milk production beyond six weeks

After the first month, your body will catch up with the pace and produce milk right after the feeding action stops. Your baby will need more or less the same amount of milk for up to 6 months. 

But the need for feeding will become infrequent. At this point, the mammary glands produce milk on a supply and demand basis. The more your baby feeds, the more milk your breasts will make.


This article will answer the question “How long does it take to produce milk?”, and how to tell If your baby is ready to nurse?


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