When does breast milk develop when pregnant?

Are you expecting and wondering when your breast milk will start to develop? Well, congratulations! You’re about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys in life – motherhood.

But let’s face it; pregnancy comes with many questions, and that’s why we are here to help! If you want to know more about how and when your body will produce breast milk during pregnancy, then you’ve come to the right place!

What is Breastmilk?

Breast milk is a substance produced by mammary glands during pregnancy and after giving birth. This mixture contains nutrients such as fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, water that are essential for an infant’s growth.

Why Breastfeeding Is Essential

Breast milk provides numerous benefits for babies that formula cannot match:

  • It has the perfect balance of nutrients which helps infants grow strong.
  • Provides immunity against diseases
  • Promotes emotional bonding between mother and child
  • Its readily available making feeding easier

Having said all these benefits from breastfeeding leaves us thinking…

How long does it take for breastmilk production during Pregnancy (Lactogenesis I)?

You may be surprised but lactation begins early in pregnancy. The hormone prolactin plays a crucial role in preparing breasts to produce milk even before childbirth.

During lactogenesis stage 1(period before delivery) increased levels of estrogen and progesterone support glandular development getting ready for Lactation;. However high levels can also impede lactogenesis or healthy suckling postpartum leading complications like engorgement which can cause pain or mastitis.

The Second Stage

Forget waiting until childbirth; this is where things get interesting. Colostrum marks the beginning of real ‘milking’ work because you must CREATE BREAK THROUGH BARRIER OF COLOSTRUM…YES!! At this point…[insert drum roll]…lactogenesis Stage 2 occurs! It usually begins in the first few days after delivery and can last up to ten days. The body makes milk production its primary focus, leading to a significant increase in hormone levels resulting in your breasts feeling full and tender.

During this stage, hormones like oxytocin stimulate Contractions working on feeding colostrum out of ductal system while an important immune function of colostrums is experienced by newborns.

Unfortunately, some mothers experience delayed let-down reflex postponing lactation onset- due to stress or interventions during labour hence not initiating milk synthesis.

How Does Breast Milk Develop During Pregnancy?

As mentioned earlier breastmilk develops progressively throughout pregnancy. Here’s what happens:

The mammary glands will start growing towards the end of your first trimester; however, it may not be visible because they are tiny structures deep within breast tissue. You may notice that nipples are more sensitive than before as changes occur due increased blood supply.

By week twenty (20), breasts have completed about eighty percent(80%)of their developmental growth which can lead to swelling soreness,and even itchiness.We would recommend comfy bras at this point.

# Third Trimester

The final weeks will bring lots of excitement! Significant hormonal shifts take place approximately two weeks before childbirth inducing inflammation benefits allowing for fast growth & distension around nipple area prepping for opening getting us ready for MILK SYNTHESIS….YES!!

Tips For Preparing Yourself For Lactation After Childbirth

It isn’t possible nor mandatory fully understand what holds ahead; but here’s the good news – there are ways you prepare yourself so that you hit the ground running when our little bundle finally arrives!

The Following Are Good Examples;

  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Eat healthy foods: To keep up with the nutrient requirement, you must consume a balanced diet – this is especially important when breastfeeding
  3. Take care of your nipples: Over sensitive nipples can cause discomfort during nursing- which every mom should know is painful!
    4.Sleep tight and rest enough-(self-explanatory)


Breast milk production during pregnancy and after birth can seem complicated but today we have learned it all kick-starts from Lactogenesis Stage 1 to Lactogenesis Stage II at delivery where colostrum creation opens door for full on MILK SYNTHESIS!!

However important breastfeeding may be there are factors that frustrate new mothers like low breastmilk supply (insufficient glandular development), making lactation hard or delayed onset lactation(hormonal hindrance).

So now that you’re armed with a little more knowledge about what’s in store for you as an expecting mom; Good luck! We hope this information was useful.

Feel free to share your thoughts or ask questions if any regarding Breast Milk Development During Pregnancy, maybe suggestions too if missed anything obvious.

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