Early breast-feeding helps the
mother in rapid involution of the uterus and lesser chance of breast cancer.
Mothers' preparation and motivation
for breast-feeding should begin from the second semester of the antenatal
period. The nipple should be examined to see whether they are normal and
The care of nipples is necessary to
prevent mechanical problems of feeding. If nipples are retracted, they should
be pulled out at least once a day. Daily practicing, during the last trimester,
can help to prepare protractile nipples.
The tone of the contour of the
breast will be maintained by using proper brassieres.
A diet should be well balanced with
extra proteins, calcium, and iron.
The mother must be convinced that
the ability to produce milk does not depend on the size of the breast.
The mother should be told that the
adequate milk is secreted from the third day of the postpartum.
Physiology of lactation
Lactogen and other hormones secreted
by the placenta and prolactin secreted by the pituitary influence the
preparation of mammary glands for lactation during pregnancy.
The breast tissues develop the glandular system, which will
secrete milk and advance it to the surface of the tissue through a combination
of alveoli and ducts.
Groups of alveoli connect through
milk ducts to lactiferous ducts, each leading into lactiferous sinus, and then
opening at the nipple. Each nipple receives the milk from about 20 lactiferous
ducts. The alveoli begins to secrete colostrums in mid pregnancy.
At the time of the delivery, the balance between hormones
changes abruptly when levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease rapidly in
absence of a placenta. Prolactin levels remain high. This change in the balance
initiates lactation. Most potent stimuli continue prolactin secretions are
mechanical stimuli of sucking.