Breastfeeding gives your newborn the very best start. It supplies food, comfort and love. It can be challenging at first, especially if it’s your first attempt. But don’t worry. Know this good news: you and your baby can succeed together.

Sending signals

Your body’s milk supply is closely tied
to your baby’s needs. When the baby breastfeeds, signals travel from the breast to the brain to release hormones. The hormones trigger milk production in the lobules. Signals also move the milk from the lobules to the nipple. This is called the let-down reflex. These signals are very strong. Hearing your baby cry, or even just thinking about your baby, can cause milk to flow.

Continuing the cycle

Breastfeeding has a natural supply-and- demand rhythm. The more often you put the baby to your breast, the more milk you will produce. Even if breastfeeding is interrupted for some time, a lactation specialist can help you start again (re- lactation).

The right milk

As your baby grows, his/her needs change. And your body’s milk changes to suit those needs. You produce three kinds of milk for your baby:

  • Colostrum is the first milk. It is thick and yellowish. Colostrum provides all the nutrients your baby needs in the first few days.
  • Transitional milk comes in 2-5 days after birth. It can look creamy, white or yellow.
  • Mature milk begins in the second or third week after birth. It is thinner or more watery. It can have a bluish tint. Levels of protein, fat and antibodies in mature milk change as your baby’s needs change.

SOURCE: MIMS HealthToday Malaysia