What is lactation?

In the life of almost every individual of the female mammalian class, sooner or later the period of lactation begins. What is it and what does it matter in a person's life? How long is this period, and can it not be? Let's talk about what lactation in women is, what you need to know about this process.

Lactation: definition

Lactation is a complex physiological process of milk formation, its accumulation and elimination. It is characteristic of humans and mammals, which is logical (mammal = milk).

Lactation begins immediately after childbirth as a result of the passage in the woman's body of several stages of development of this process. This is the neuro-reflex mechanism, where the role of the endocrine glands is important. The whole body participates in the process of lactation, and milk is naturally secreted only in the breast (breast) of a woman.

By the way, lactation is an absolutely hormone-dependent process. To get milk to feed a baby, it is not necessary to have a chic, lush bust. The lactation hormones - oxytocin, prolactin and placental lactogen affect the production of a sufficient amount of milk.So what is needed for lactation is sufficient production of these hormones, but the breast size will not determine anything.

Stage of lactation

A bit of theory. The lactation process goes through 4 stages of development from education to milk production.

  1. At the first stage, the mammary gland begins to absorb certain substances from the blood that act as "precursors" of milk.
  2. In the secretory cells of the gland, the components of milk begin to be synthesized.
  3. Further, already in the cytoplasm of secretory cells, previously synthesized products are formed and accumulate.
  4. After that, the milk is separated into the capacity of the breast (cisterns, the cavity of the alveoli).

All this happens in the process of pregnancy (up to the stage of milk release, which occurs after delivery) under the influence of all the same hormones released during this period.

Lactation process

Immediately after birth, only a small amount of colostrum can be decanted; then the process can proceed in women in different ways. We said that it depends on the production of hormones. By the way, this process, in turn, can be affected by the woman’s nutrition, her psycho-emotional state, the amount of blood lost in the process of birth, etc.

The amount of milk on a 3-4 day after birth may increase dramatically, while in others the growth occurs gradually.

It also happens that milk appears much later, at 5-6 days. Often this happens among primiparous women who think about what increases lactation. But, as you now know, this process is determined by hormones. Also, the milk disappears when you stop feeding the baby or feed him insufficiently. Constant application will contribute to milk production. But remember: you need to feed as much as the child wants. Excess milk is decanted.

Over time, not only does the amount of milk increase, but its composition also changes. Milk from 3 to 10-12 days is considered preparatory, and from 10-12 milk can be called mature.

None of the food (mixtures) will replace the mother for microelements and vitamins mother's milk, because lactation is a physiological process that nature itself has laid in the body of a woman in order to be able to fully grow her child.

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