What is Lactation?
Lactation refers to the period when a woman synthesizes and secretes milk from her breasts to feed her newborn. This occurs due to activation of the mammary glands under the effects of the two major hormones, prolactin and oxytocin.
A woman’s body prepares for lactation in the later stage of pregnancy while milk secretion usually starts after childbirth.
What is Breast Milk?
The human breast milk is rich in nutrients, antibodies and enzymes. It is a complete food consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins, providing all the necessary nourishment to your baby. The antibodies provide immunity to your baby, while other immunologic properties strengthen the baby’s gut with the accumulation of useful bacteria. The enzymes present in breast milk aid in the baby’s digestion.
Colostrum, the first milk produced immediately after birth is thick in texture, loaded with fats, nutrients and immune factors, and is highly recommended for your baby. Colostrum soon gets converted into mature milk.
Breastfeeding and Lactation
Apart from the stimulation from the hormones, lactation is initiated with continued breastfeeding. As the demand for breast milk increases by your baby, the supply also increases.
Your breasts continue to synthesize milk for as long as your baby requires it. On average, your baby feeds 8 to 12 times in a day. Around 800 mL of milk is synthesized per day.
Latching is how your baby fastens onto your breasts while breastfeeding. This is an important stage in lactation. The perfect latch helps your baby feed efficiently and keeps you comfortable during the feed. Teaching your baby how to latch on properly help prevent sore nipples which can be very painful and interfere with breastfeeding.
Do’s and Don’ts of Lactation
A woman’s health plays an important role in milk production. Thus, when she is tired or stressed, the quantity of milk production may reduce. Alcohol intake should be restricted while breastfeeding as it appears in the breast milk.
At Advance Wellness Services, you will be provided personalized assistance to take care of yourself and your baby. You will be given assistance for various aspects including:
- Maintaining your breast milk supply
- Various methods of positioning your baby while breastfeeding
- Methods to help your baby latch onto your breasts correctly
- Ways to prevent pain, discomfort and sore nipples while breastfeeding
- Preventing clogging of the mammary glands and mastitis
- Caring for your nipples to avoid problems
- Breast pumping
- Breastfeeding multiples
- Breastfeeding and return to work