How is milk made in the breasts? : lactation

The lactation process depends on two hormones: prolactin and oxytocin. Both are activated by the baby's sucking.

> Prolactin : this hormone is secreted after birth and causes the rise of milk. It triggers the manufacture of milk at the level of the alveoli of the breast, when the baby heads. Prolactin levels are higher at night, allowing nocturnal feedings.

> Oxytocin : it activates the secretion of the alveoli of the breast and is responsible for the ejection of the milk. This hormone also causes the contractions of the uterus. When the baby heads, the uterus contracts to resume its normal size. Oxytocin production decreases with stress, fatigue or pain. But each feeding will stimulate the secretion of milk.

You should know that the more the baby suckles, the more the mother will have milk.

And mother side?

Your diet should stay the same, balanced. It is useless to eat more under the pretext that we must eat for two. You can favor foods rich in iron, omega 3, and calcium.

You just have to drink according to your thirst. Do not feel obliged to drink more than usual, to excess. Tip: While breastfeeding, have a glass of water beside you for drinking if you feel the need.

Last tip: Drink moderately tea, coffee and cola drinks. Some nutrients they contain pass into breast milk and are assimilated by the baby. Do not drink alcohol, and avoid smoking (the toxic substances of tobacco pass into breast milk).

Note: breast milk is devoid of vitamin K, an essential vitamin for blood clotting. You will usually have to give Vitamin K once a week, as you will prescribe.

See also: diet during pregnancy

You want to react, to give your testimony or to ask a question? See you in our FORUMS Breastfeeding or Baby!

Read also:

> Quiz: do you know what is needed for breastfeeding without problems?
> The feeding of the pregnant woman
> Our advice so that breastfeeding goes well

Source: The Great Book of My Pregnancy, French National College of Gynecologists Obstetricians, edition Eyrolles, 2013-2014.

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