Melanie Kissell

Archive for the ‘Colostrum’ Category

Lactation Explanation

In Breastfeeding, Colostrum, Flat nipples, How do breasts make milk, Inverted nipples, Lactation explanation, Milk ducts and sinuses, Nipple shells, Nipple shield on March 22, 2009 at 7:36 pm


How do breasts make milk?

* Your breasts change during pregnancy to prepare for making milk. Your breasts contain milk glands and milk ducts that increase in number, causing your breasts to get larger.  Milk is made in small sacs called milk glands or mammary glands.  The milk glands are arranged side by side in small grape-like clusters.  The milk gland clusters connect to milk ducts, which are pathways for milk to travel through before reaching your nipples.  These small ducts join other ducts and form bigger ducts as they get closer to the nipple.  Breast milk flows from the ducts into the sinus (collection area) behind the nipple.  It then comes out through 15 to 20 small openings on your nipples.

* During the later part of your pregnancy, your breasts start to make and store colostrum. Colostrum (KO-lah-strum) is a yellow, creamy fluid made by the breasts before they start making milk.  It contains protein, vitamins and minerals, and sugar, plus antibodies (substances that protect against infection).  Your baby will receive colostrum during breastfeeding before your breasts start making milk.  Your breasts will start making regular breast milk 2 to 4 days after your baby’s birth.  Colostrum may continue to be in your milk for up to two weeks after your baby is born.  Your milk glands make milk continuously while you breastfeed and removing more milk increases how much you make.  Milk is removed from your breast during feeding when your baby suckles it or by expression (milk removal by hand expression or pumping).

As a Certified Perinatal Instructor and Lactation Specialist, I promote health & well being and I support and assist breastfeeding moms.