Stop Waiting for Your Milk to “Come In”. It’s Already Here!

Ok Ladies, it’s time we had a little chat about your lovely boobs!

I spend a lot of time frequenting breastfeeding support groups online. I’m also currently training to become a breastfeeding peer supporter and attend breastfeeding groups regularly around my home town. And it’s come to my attention that a lot of hard working milk mamas are getting their nursing bras in a bit of a twist about when their milk will ‘come in’. 

I just need to clear this one thing up with you all, here and now!

From the day your baby is born, YOUR MILK IS HERE! (Actually, technically it’s been there for weeks!)

That lovely juicy, creamy stuff that drops from your breasts, the minute your baby starts sucking, is milk!

Yes ladies, colostrum IS milk. Newborn milk. And it’s some good shit!

Colostrum is low in fat, and high in carbohydrates, protein and anti-bodies, which all work to make your baby super healthy. It’s also very easy to digest, making it the perfect first food for your little angel – Colostrum literally means “first milk”. 

It’s often referred to as “The Good Stuff”. And for good reason! It’s what builds your baby’s immune system from the go, ensuring their little bodies can have a good chance of fighting off anything that might attack it, early on. Something that no breastmilk substitute can replicate!

Following frequent breastfeeding, from the offset and on demand, your milk will slowly start to change, each day. What was once a thick, yellowy substance, will start to become thin and white. And this, I believe is where the confusion comes from. 

Around day 3-4, after your baby has been working hard to let your boobs know he is growing and he is hungry, your awesome milk factories begin to produce more and more milk, increasing in quantity. THIS is known as, your ‘milk coming in’. 

While we’re here, I have another thing I would like you amazing ladies to know. It’s not rare, when a mum is concerned about when her milk will arrive, to see other mums tell her, “Oh, you will know when!” Well, actually, it’s not always so obvious for some mums. 

While many will wake one morning, feeling like someone came in the middle of the night and swapped her body for Pamela Anderson’s, wondering why the bed is so wet, others will hardly notice the change. Sometimes, the milk change is so smooth for a mum that it causes her to pause and question what is happening. Well, mamas, don’t you worry! 

YOUR MILK IS HERE! 

It’s also important to remember, while you are worrying about the quantity of your milk, that your baby’s tummy is seriously tiny! Meaning that in the first days, they are incapable of taking in more than 5-27 ml’s per feed. It’s not until they reach week 1 that their stomach becomes big enough to hold around 45-60ml, so there really isn’t any need to worry about having a huge amount of milk, just yet! 

  

You don’t need to be asking yourself when your milk will turn up because, you guessed it, YOUR MILK IS HERE!

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What ‘That Meme’ Should Have Said

I received an interesting response from my last post, about how inappropriate wording can innocently and inadvertently discourage the breastfeeding mum. Formula companies know it but many of us mere mortals, are yet to discover it.

It was my blog’s most controversial subject, to date. Some mums felt hurt and misunderstood that I could even question something that was created to give mums, who are sat at home feeling bad about themselves, a lift! Something that, on the surface, was supportive to those mums who are having or have had a difficult journey, trying to nourish their adored little people. And, of course, on the surface, to some, I looked like a bit of a cruel bastard. 

However, I pushed on. I urged mums to look past their initial judgement and to try and understand, exactly, what I was trying to say. I had some good support from other mums who ‘get it’, in one or two online, breastfeeding support groups. But it was a tough slog. 

The message got through to some but not to others and, oh dear, we almost hit the “Mommy Wars” territory! The very thing the formula companies wanted, by creating the concept in the first place, and feeding it to naive minds and emotionally vulnerable mums.  

Just as I was starting to lose all hope, feeling like my efforts were all for nothing, I read the sentence, “Tube, Bottle or Breast. Turns out, no matter how it’s ingested, breastmilk is best.”

Yes!!! There it is. There it bloody is!

This is why copy writers get paid a lot of money, to come up with those magic one-liners (…or in this case, two!).

Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it.” 

Maybe that’s true. Maybe, I am still trying to get my head around things that my heart tells me, are wrong. My problem is, I tend to beat around the bush and elaborate, no end, trying to explain things simply. Or maybe, it’s because the subject is so large and complex, even one small blog article, can’t simplify it’s density. 

This one sentence, came along and saved the day! Oh my giddy aunt, did it make me happy. So, I did this.  

How To Talk About Milk

THIS is how ‘that meme’ should have looked!

This, is how to get the message across, to mums who have spent hours pumping/hand expressing their milk, to tube or bottle feed their little darlings, feeling like the biggest failure known to man, because breastfeeding, the most natural thing in the world, didn’t work out for them. 

This is how to say to that mum, “You are still providing your breastmilk and doing a wonderful job. That is what matters!” 

This is how we do not tell a mum, that all that hard work, expressing, getting up every 2-3 hours during the night, to sit in a cold chair and express her milk, is a wasted effort, because it doesn’t matter what you feed your baby, “Fed is best.” 

NO. That is NOT ok. 

Thank you to the lady, who provided this sentence and also to the lady, whose idea it was to make this meme! 

Women like you might often be put down for your efforts, and called horrible, shitty things like, ‘The Brestapo’, but YOU are the reason women succeed with breastfeeding. You go out of your way, in your own free time, to ensure messages like the one in ‘that meme’ are hidden from the hard-working, breastfeeding mum, who knows she is doing everything for a reason! 

Thank you! 💗✌🏻️ #lactivist 

Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative Leaflet

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