How Long Does It Take For Breast to Refill? – Breast Milk Supply

By Maria Wilcox •  Updated: 07/30/22 •  4 min read
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If you’re wondering how long does it take for breast to refill, you aren’t alone. Many mothers suffering from low milk supply, or even normal supply, may ask this question for fear that they won’t be able to produce enough milk for their babies. Luckily, we have a simple and straightforward answer for you in today’s post.

how long does it take for breast to refill

How Long Does It Take For Breasts to Fill Back Up?

It technically takes about 20-30 minutes for breast milk to “refill”. But there’s more to it than that. 

Your breasts aren’t actually “empty” as you might imagine a bottle or cup being empty. Most women, even those with low milk supply, still have at least a little bit of milk left in their breasts. 

The issue is that the rate of milk slows from what it had once been, making it seem as though the breast is empty. 

If your baby is fussing on the breast and doesn’t seem to be getting enough milk out, trust me, I know the feeling of panic.

But remember that breastfeeding is based on supply and demand. Therefore, your baby’s suckling will signal your body to produce more milk. Thus, more milk should be available a short time after that, usually within 20-30 minutes. 

woman and breastfed baby

How Long Does It Take For Breast Milk to Replenish After Feeding?

After a feeding, your breasts probably no longer feel as full as they once did. That’s a good thing as it means your baby has had its fill of milk. But it will take about 20-30 minutes before you see that milk flow pick back up again. 

That doesn’t mean your breasts are completely empty. But you may find your baby frustrated at the breast because he or she isn’t able to get out as much milk as they‘d like.

Even if this happens, you may wish to allow your baby to suckle anyway, especially if you have a low milk supply. This is what signals your body to produce more milk. Do this in tandem with drinking more water.

You may also try oat milk to encourage breast milk supply or Body Armor for breastfeeding, as some women have found these drinks helpful.

Breast Milk Refill? It DOES Happen! 

Despite what you may believe, it is possible for your breast milk to “refill” within 20-30 minutes of your baby having “emptied” your breast. Just remember to eat well, stay hydrated, and get rest when you can to help keep your milk supply at the level it needs to be to fully satiate your baby.

FAQ

How long does it take for breast to refill after pumping?

It takes about 30 minutes or less for breast milk to refill in most cases.

How do I know when my breast is empty when breastfeeding?

Your breast milk will never be completely empty, however, your milk rate will have slowed once you notice your breasts don’t feel as full as they once did and very little milk comes out when hand expressing.

How to make breast milk refill faster?

Some mothers have found that drinking certain drinks helps them produce breast milk faster. Our best recommendation is that you stay hydrated by drinking water or coconut water when breastfeeding and maintaining a healthy diet. 
Some women also see a good increase in breast milk by eating raisins and oatmeal. Try the two combined sprinkled with a little flax meal on top for even more breast milk production. This hearty breakfast always worked wonders for me!

How much milk can a woman produce in 24 hours?

It is often 25-35 ounces per day.

How long does it take for water to turn into breast milk?

If you are drinking water to increase milk production, the rate at which you will see an increase in milk supply will differ from woman to woman. If you are very concerned about your milk output, see a lactation specialist for tailored advice. 

Maria Wilcox

Former instructor with an M.A. in Education turned grateful stay-at-home mama to one, I look to share helpful insights related to babies, toddlers, kids, and families for the benefit of real people just like you.

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