Hormone responsible for milk ejection

Women who expect their first child ask, at least shortly before the calculated date of birth, how it will probably work with breastfeeding. After giving birth, the female body first has to adjust to the processes during breastfeeding, after receiving the information that the baby has been sucked off, that the pregnancy is over and that nutrition is now required.

The milk intake takes place approximately between the second and fourth day

Milk injection takes place between the second and fourth day after the baby is born. But that’s no reason to worry. Until then, the child does not have to go without natural food or even starve!

Breast development from pregnancy to the puerperium

milk ejection

Women who expect their first child ask, at least shortly before the calculated date of birth, how it will probably work with breastfeeding. After giving birth, the female body first has to adjust to the processes during breastfeeding, after receiving the information that the baby has been sucked off, that the pregnancy is over and that nutrition is now required.

The milk intake takes place approximately between the second and fourth day

Milk injection takes place between the second and fourth day after the baby is born. But that’s no reason to worry. Until then, the child does not have to go without natural food or even starve!

Breast development from pregnancy to the puerperium

From the first changes of the breast during pregnancy to milk injection, it is a long-lasting path. Numerous bodily processes develop or change. Especially the sex hormones progesterone, estrogen and some other hormones ensure that the breasts grow and prepare optimally for the milk delivery. Medically, this process is called galactogenesis.

From the second half of pregnancy onwards, the mammary glands, milk ducts, milk sacs, and nipples are developed so far that the mother can breastfeed even in case of premature birth. Decisive for milk production is the hormone prolactin, which is inhibited during pregnancy by a comparatively high level of progesterone and estrogen.

Only after birth, when the level of these two pregnancy hormones falls off, can the prolactin unfold its full effect. Also, oxytocin is released, which facilitates the discharge of milk, bypassing the stimulus to the milk ducts and thus allows their contraction. The sight and smell of her child and the regular sucking trigger in the mother, the Milchspendereflex.

The milk injection

Immediately after birth, the baby is put on the chest. Here is the so-called “foremilk” (medical: colostrum). This pre-milking drink the infant during the first breastfeeding attempts. Midwives often refer to colostrum as first milk. It is very rich in calories, nutrients, antibodies and proteins and provides the baby with everything he needs during his first two days of life. Also, the natural sucking reflex ensures that the milk is properly absorbed.

If the child is regularly put on and sucks vigorously, about two to three days after childbirth, more milk begins to flow. This milk intake is perceived differently from woman to woman.

Typical symptoms

Symptoms that indicate a milk shoot: 

  • The circumference of the breasts increases noticeably.
  • The breasts are heavier.
  • From time to time, breast milk drips uncontrollably out of the chest. That is not a cause for concern. On the contrary, the phenomenon sometimes occurs even when breastfeeding has been properly established. Breast pads catch the “spilled” milk easily.

Important now is the regular emptying of the breasts by the baby. Nursing women often feel a great relief after breastfeeding. During the first few days, the supervising midwife will be happy to help with questions or problems of the mother.

It takes between four and eight weeks for the mother-baby relationship to be established. The amount of milk produced depends on the demand of the baby. About ten days after delivery the breast milk is mature. It then consists of about 12 percent solids and 88 percent water. About their exact composition, they, as well as their quantity, optimally adjust to the needs of the infant.

Possible problems

Painkillers or other medicines during childbirth affect not only the mother but also the baby. It is sleepy, it sucks badly or not at all. Accordingly, milk production is less effectively stimulated. Other reasons for a delayed milk injection and thus a bumpy start to breast-feeding are:

  • Separation of mother and baby immediately after birth: This can have various reasons, such as medical examinations. They should never have priority over bonding / breastfeeding unless they are urgently needed. The still reflex is delayed, and the milk injection begins accordingly later.
  • Cesarean section: The natural process of birth becomes confused with all bodily sequelae. Help from the outside by an experienced midwife or lactation consultant is very important here. With empathetic support, it is possible, despite caesarian section, to trigger the maternal milk donor reflex in most cases and thus help mother and child achieve a harmonious breastfeeding relationship.
  • Wrong application: The correct nursing technique is by no means natural. New mothers should, therefore, have the right technique demonstrated by an experienced midwife.
  • Feeding: Strange suckers and bottles can quickly confuse babies!
  • Breastfeeding after the clock: It is nowadays recommended to “breastfeed as needed.”
  • impatience

Sometimes it happens that the milk shoots in so hard that the breast becomes exceptionally plump. The result is that the baby cannot grasp the nipple properly. Until everything has worked out correctly, the woman should wipe out a little milk by hand before putting on.

CONCLUSION

The joy of the baby, serenity, and calmness are beside the regular donning, the best means to bring the mother’s milk to flow.
Mostly it comes on the third day after delivery to the milk injection. It can also happen on the second or the fourth or fifth day.

TIPS FROM MIDWIFE CHRISTINA ALTMANN

THE AUTHOR

  • Competent help and support for breastfeeding are very important for first moms!
  • No master has fallen from the sky: you have to learn to breastfeed! Do not be strict with yourself.
  • You do not have to feed! If you breastfeed as needed, there is enough milk for your baby even before the milk injection!
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