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What types of milk are produced during breastfeeding?

Your body makes different types of milk to meet your baby’s special needs.

Colostrum, the yellowish “first milk” that may leak from your breasts during late pregnancy, is your baby’s first food. This thick liquid provides your baby with food and antibodies (disease-fighting substances) that your body has built up over time. During the first few days after delivery, your breasts produce colostrum.

Over the next two weeks, your breasts will gradually begin to produce mature mother’s milk. Also, the milk your baby drinks can change over the course of a single feeding. The more watery foremilk comes first in a feeding, giving your baby plenty of liquid along with nutrients and antibodies. The creamy hindmilk comes later as your baby continues to drink, giving your baby additional healthy fats.

It’s important for your baby to get both foremilk and hindmilk at each feeding. An imbalance could cause your baby to have extra gas or to have medical problems. Contact a lactation consultant if you have questions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.