What Are The 4 Stages of Breastfeeding?

Feb 17 , 2023


  • Hey there, mama-to-be! If you're planning on breastfeeding your little one, you might be wondering what to expect. Breastfeeding is a natural process, but it's not always a walk in the park. That's why it's important to know about the different stages of breastfeeding and how to prepare for them.

Hey there, mama-to-be! If you're planning on breastfeeding your little one, you might be wondering what to expect. Breastfeeding is a natural process, but it's not always a walk in the park. That's why it's important to know about the different stages of breastfeeding and how to prepare for them.


The first stage of breastfeeding is called lactogenesis I. This is when your body starts producing colostrum, a thick, yellowish liquid that's rich in nutrients and antibodies. Colostrum is sometimes referred to as "liquid gold" because of all the benefits it provides to your baby's immune system.

Lactogenesis I usually begins during the third trimester of pregnancy, but you might not notice any colostrum until after your baby is born. During this stage, your breasts might feel swollen and tender, and you might notice some leakage. Don't worry, this is all perfectly normal!

Tips for Stage 1:

  1. Maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet to supply your body with the essential nutrients required for milk production. Consuming foods rich in protein, calcium, and iron can also aid in this process.
  2. Attend a breastfeeding class or consult a lactation specialist to learn the correct techniques for breastfeeding. This will help you feel more confident and prepared for the journey ahead.
  3. Practice skin-to-skin contact with your baby as it can stimulate milk production and facilitate bonding between you and your little one. Skin-to-skin contact is also known to help regulate your baby's temperature, heart rate, and breathing.


The second stage of breastfeeding is lactogenesis II, which is when your milk comes in. This usually happens 2-5 days after your baby is born. You'll know your milk has come in because your breasts will feel fuller and heavier, and you might even experience some discomfort.

During lactogenesis II, it's important to breastfeed frequently to establish a good milk supply. Your baby might also be fussier during this stage because they're trying to adjust to the new flow of milk.

Tips for Stage 2:

  1. Breastfeed your baby frequently to help establish a good milk supply. It's recommended to nurse your baby at least 8-12 times a day during the first few weeks.
  2. Offer both breasts during each feeding session to ensure that your baby is getting enough milk. This will also help to stimulate milk production in both breasts.
  3. Look for signs that your baby is getting enough milk, such as regular weight gain and six or more wet diapers a day. You can also observe your baby's behavior during feeding sessions. If they seem content and satisfied after a feeding, it's a good indication that they're getting enough milk.


Let's talk about the third stage of breastfeeding - the transitioning stage. This stage is an exciting time for both you and your baby as your milk changes from colostrum to mature milk. It typically lasts around 10 days, but keep in mind that every woman's body is unique, and the duration can vary.

During this stage, you may notice some changes in your milk. Your milk might appear thinner and whiter compared to the thicker and yellowish colostrum. Don't worry; this is completely normal! Your baby may also experience some changes as they adjust to the new milk, such as more frequent and larger bowel movements.

To make this stage a smooth sailing for you and your baby, here are some tips to consider:

Tips for Stage 3:

  1. Continue to nurse your baby frequently to maintain a healthy milk supply. Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis, meaning the more your baby nurses, the more milk your body will produce.
  2. Be aware of your baby's growth spurts and adjust your feeding schedule accordingly. During these times, your baby may need to nurse more frequently to meet their growing needs.
  3. If your baby is having difficulty latching or needs to be soothed, consider introducing a bottle or a pacifier. However, it's important to remember that introducing a bottle or pacifier too early can interfere with breastfeeding. So, it's best to wait until your baby has established a good latch and breastfeeding routine before introducing these items.


The fourth and final stage of breastfeeding is when your milk is fully mature. This stage is a significant milestone for both you and your baby as your milk is fully mature. Mature milk is white in color and looks quite similar to cow's milk. It's packed with essential nutrients and antibodies that your baby needs for healthy growth and development.

Usually, mature milk comes in around two weeks after your baby's birth. During this stage, it's crucial to keep breastfeeding your baby frequently to maintain your milk supply and provide your little one with all the necessary nutrients they need to thrive.

Breastfeeding during this stage has numerous benefits for both you and your baby. It helps to strengthen the bond between you and your little one, while also providing your baby with the necessary nutrients to promote optimal growth and development. Additionally, breastfeeding can help reduce your risk of certain health conditions, such as breast cancer and osteoporosis.


Breastfeeding is an amazing and natural experience, but it's not always easy. It can be a challenging journey, but don't worry, with the right information and support, you can absolutely succeed!

To ensure a successful breastfeeding journey, here are some valuable tips that can help you along the way.

  1. Proper latch: A proper latch is key to preventing sore nipples and ensuring a good milk supply for your baby. Make sure your baby is latching on correctly.
  2. Breastfeeding positions: Finding the right position for you and your baby is crucial. Experiment with different positions until you find one that is comfortable for both of you.
  3. Avoiding nipple confusion: It's important to avoid pacifiers and bottles until breastfeeding is well-established. This will help your baby to develop a strong suckling technique and avoid any confusion.
  4. Increasing milk supply: Breastfeed frequently and make sure you're drinking plenty of water and eating a well-balanced diet. This will help increase your milk supply and ensure your baby is getting all the nutrients they need.
  5. Managing breast pain: Breast pain and engorgement can be painful, but don't worry, there are ways to manage it. Use warm compresses and massage to relieve discomfort.
  6. Seeking support: Don't be afraid to reach out for help. A lactation consultant or support group can provide invaluable assistance and support if you're struggling with breastfeeding.

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