Last Updated on Sep 20, 2019

What are the Different Stages of Lactation?

Breast milk is known by different terminologies depending on the time of production and composition-

Colostrum -

The first milk that is produced is called colostrum and technically it the best for the infant. It is usually present after the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy. Once the baby is born, it is present in small amounts for the first 3 days to match the small size of the baby's stomach. It has a yellow tinge and is thick in consistency. Its nutritional qualities are being high in protein, and low in fat and sugar. It is rich in the immunities being passed from the mother to protect the baby. It also acts as a natural laxative, helping the baby pass the first stools called meconium.

Mature milk - In about 48 to 72 hours the colostrum gives way to mature milk. The duration varies depending on initiation time of breastfeeding and its frequency. Mature milk consists of two components-

  • Foremilk - The first milk the baby receives on initiation of breastfeeding is called foremilk. It is thin and watery with a light blue tinge, composed largely of water, low in fat and high in carbohydrates, and is necessary to satisfy the baby's thirst.
  • Hindmilk - Thereafter is produced hindmilk, which has the highest concentration of fat and is released after several minutes of nursing. It is similar in consistency to cream and induces sleep in the baby. Hindmilk is important for the baby to feel satisfied and to gain adequate weight.
Stages of Lactation


Esau04 Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Breast milk contains all the water and nutrients that an infant needs to satisfy hunger, thirst, and growth.

fionalangsharpe Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wow can't believe you would allow a formula add to run with this article. Constantly undermining women with adds like these decreases the rates of breastfeeding. Increases the health risks to our children. Please reconsider your advertising. Thank you

koffi Tuesday, August 23, 2011

breast milk is always ready at all time for the baby, it does not take time for it to be prepared,it does not have a money value,available always at the right temperature not too hot or not too cold,free from microbes,

s_mayur Thursday, March 31, 2011

please let me know what is the normal time taken for the milk to come into the breast after delivery. rgds Mayur Deshmukh

abeer19 Saturday, November 6, 2010

only????? is it related to genes? if non brothers feed from the same mother does this affect their biological cells or genes?

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