After delivery when the mother is
still in the delivery room, she should have an opportunity to hold her baby for
As soon as the mother is ready to feed, she should be
encouraged to give breast-feeding.
The first milk:
Toward the end of the pregnancy, the
alveolar cells secrete a yellow fluid called colostrum. It contains fluid
secretion partly of whole and fragmental alveolar cells and some white blood
cells. These cells produce antibodies, which can protect both the breast itself
and the intestines of the baby against infections.
During the pregnancy, the hormones produced by the ovary and
placenta inhibits milk production. Immediately after delivery, there is a rapid
decrease in the inhibitory hormones. With the stimulus of sucking by the
newborn, the production of milk starts. The mature and full milk production may
occur within about 10 days. The milk secretion depends on reflexes as follows:
1. The milk producing reflex:
The breast of the mother produces milk for the baby,
according to baby's need and demand in response to its sucking. When the baby
suckles, the sensory nerves ending in the breast are stimulated and impulses
are carried by the vagus nerve to the hypothalamus.
This causes the anterior pituitary to release prolactin into
the blood. Prolactin acts on the milk producing cells of the breasts. The more
the baby suckles, the more the milk is secreted.
2. The milk-ejection reflex ("Let-down" reflex)
sensory nerve impulses that start when the baby suckles on the nipple, cause
the posterior pituitary to release oxytocin, make the myoepithelial cells
around the alveoli and ducts contract. This squeezes milk from the alveoli,
ducts, and sinuses toward the nipple. Therefore, when the baby suckles at the
nipple, it stimulates the nipple that produces milk flow. The ejection reflex
is called Factors affecting let-down
When the mother thinks happily or affectionately about her baby,
milk may start to flow.
A hungry baby suckles more often more vigorously and longer
than the satisfied baby. The baby's hunger is therefore the regulatory
mechanism of the milk production.
Fear, excitement, anger, and embarrassment may inhibit let-down
reflex and prevent milk present deep in the gland from coming down to the
of the milk per 100 milliliters
Nutreint : Human milk Cow' s
A proteins : 1.2 gm 3.5 gm
Casein : 0.4 gm 2.8 gm
B Lactalbumin : 0.8 gm 0.7
Lactose : 6.5 g 4.5
C Fat : 3.5 gm 3.5 gm
D Calcium / Phospate : 34 mg / 15 mg
22 mg / 90 gm
Calories : 67 67
Colostrum (the first milk) is the
yellow, thick milk secretion of the breast in the first three days after
delivery. It has high content of antibodies, proteins, minerals, and less
carbohydrates and fats. Fourth day onward, a good quantity of transitional milk
is produced and by three weeks, it is converted to mature milk.