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Navigating Breast Changes Post-Birth: From Milk Arrival to Leaks and Tenderness

If you’ve recently given birth, you're probably brimming with questions about what's happening with your breasts. From when your milk will come in to how to handle breast tenderness and milk leaking, we've got you sorted. Let's dive in!

When Does Milk Come In?

Colostrum Stage

Immediately after birth, your breasts produce a thick, yellowish fluid called colostrum. This 'liquid gold' is rich in nutrients and antibodies, making it perfect for your newborn.

Transition to Mature Milk

Your milk will 'come in' typically around day 3 to 5 post-birth, though this can vary. You'll know it's happening when your breasts feel fuller, heavier, and perhaps warmer.

Dealing with Breast Tenderness


When your milk comes in, you might experience engorgement—a feeling of fullness accompanied by swelling and tenderness. Cold compresses and warm showers can offer relief.

Sore Nipples

If breastfeeding, your nipples might become sore, especially in the beginning. Nipple creams and balms can be a lifesaver. Make sure to consult your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant if the pain persists.

Handling Milk Leaks - we've definitely been there!!

Absorbent Pads

Leaking is totally normal, especially in the early weeks of breastfeeding. Nursing pads placed inside your bra can keep you dry and comfortable.

Let-Down Reflex

You may notice milk leaks when you hear your baby cry or even think about feeding. This is your body's natural let-down reflex, helping to prepare you for feeding.

Leakage During Sex

It's also common for milk to leak during sexual activity, thanks to hormonal triggers. This is completely normal, so no need to be alarmed!

Remember that we are all different and our motherhood journey differs too. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to your health care provider, GP, midwife and they will be able to support you and your own personal needs.

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