How does your body produce milk after a c-section?

Ask Anne…

Question: Since you’re skipping the whole labor process, how does your body produce milk after a c-section?

Answer:  Milk production is triggered by natural hormonal changes that begin to occur during your pregnancy. Most moms will start to produce colostrum about halfway through pregnancy, but the milk doesn’t ‘come in’ until a day or two after birth.

During your pregnancy, you have high levels of progesterone and estrogen in your system, and they keep your breasts from producing milk. As soon as the placenta is delivered, these hormone levels suddenly drop, and the levels of prolactin (the hormone that helps your body produce milk) increases. These hormonal changes send your breasts signals to kick in to high gear and start making milk.

These changes take place regardless of whether you have a vaginal birth or a surgical birth, so your body will still produce milk.

The labor process isn’t what controls milk production – it’s the delivery of the placenta.

Anne Smith IBCLC
Breastfeeding Basics


About Anne Smith, IBCLC

Anne Smith, IBCLC
As the mother of six wonderful breastfed children, three perfect breastfed grand babies, and an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) with over twenty-five years experience in lactation counseling, I can offer you professional support, as well as information and advice based on my personal experiences over the years.

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