How is Breast Milk Produced?

12:02 AM Jeanne Falle 0 Comments

It is good to know how breast milk is produced so that you can be able to understand how the mechanism of breast feeding works. The illustration above simplifies the explanation how breast milk is produced.

When your baby sucks your breast, it sends signals to your brain, to the pituitary gland to release two hormones: Oxytocin and Prolactin.

Oxytocin is released into your bloodstream when your pituitary gland has been stimulated by your baby's sucking. It then sends a message to the tiny muscles around the alveoli, the milk producing cells in your breasts, to contract hereby releasing milk, or what is also known as "let down" reflex.

Prolactin is also released, thereby stimulating the alveoli take proteins, sugars, and fat from your blood supply and make breast milk. However, Prolactin will not be available sometime after a few months when your periods resume, however, you will still be able to produce enough milk with the help of a special protein called feedback inhibitor of lactation (FIL).

FIL is responsible for telling each breast how much milk to produce, when FIL is low on one breast it signals your body to produce more milk, that is why sometimes a baby can be full in feeding with just one breast.