The principle of lactation:
The secretion of milk is mainly based on the principle of balance between supply and demand. The production of milk and the amount of milk will be adjusted according to the "degree of milk removed from the breasts".
When the newborn sucks the breast, the sensory stimulation will be transmitted from the breast to the anterior pituitary gland of the brain to produce prolactin to secrete milk, and to the posterior pituitary gland to secrete oxytocin to help the uterus contract and promote involution of uterus. Therefore, the more frequently the baby sucks, the more milk is secreted. On the contrary, the less the newborn sucks, the less the milk is secreted.
Ways to promote lactation:
- Begin breastfeeding as early as possible and breastfeed baby based on his/her need. The baby must correctly suck the breast (both nipple and areola area). If the mother will separate from the newborn, the mother could use the electric milking machine or hand milking method, regularly (at least 3-4 hours) to squeeze out milk (at least 6-8 times a day ) to maintain lactation continuously.
- Rooming-in. The skin contact between mother and newborn not only enables mother to secret milk more easily, but also positively assist the baby in breathing, heartbeat and growth.
- When the mother’s mood is relaxed, comfortable, and confident in her milk, each time she thinks about her baby, or hears the baby’s crying, the milk will flow out easily. On the other hand, if people around you question whether your milk is enough, whether your physique is too weak to secrete nourishing milk, you are under great pressure, and your body is in pain or your are worried that you can't implement full breastfeeding, or you don’t want to breastfeed, the reflection of milk flow will be suppressed.
- Taking a balanced diet, it is recommended to eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, lean protein sources, and add a small amount of sugar and saturated fat.
- Enough rest and relaxation. When the baby is sleeping during the day, the mother should also sleeps as much as possible, If you’re too tried, and can’t get enough rest, it will affect the appetite, mood, hormone secretion, etc. and inhibit the oxytocin reflex.
- It is recommended to drink at least 2000CC of water per day, and it is also recommended to drink a glass of water or a warm decaffeinated drink before each breastfeeding.
- Feeding diligently, and breastfeeding depending on the baby's needs, and feeding at least once every 2-3 hours in first 1-2 month.
- Doing some favorite activities every day, such as taking a warm bath, listening to the music, exercise.
- Only feed baby by breastfeeding, Using milk before or pacifier to feed baby sometimes will cause nipples confusion.
- Do not smoke during breastfeeding. Smoking will suppress oxytocin reflex and it is harmful to the baby's health.
- Breastfeeding should be continued at night, because the pituitary gland secretes more prolactin at night than during the day, which helps maintain lactation.
- Stimulating the oxytocin reflex by warm compressing before milking, massage, milking with other mothers, and having baby’s photos or crying. Maintaining early breastfeeding, diligent breastfeeding, and relaxing are the best way to maintain the lactation.
- Schanler, R.J., Abrams, S.A., Hoppin, A.G., Potak, D.C. & Duryea, T.K. (2016). Breastfeeding: Parental education and support. UpToDate. Retrieved from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/breastfeeding-parental-education-and support
- Spencer, J., Abrams, S.A.,& Hoppin, A.G. (2016). Common problems of breastfeeding and weaning. UpToDate. Retrieved from http://www.uptodate.com/contents/common-problems-of-breatfeeding-and-weaning? source＝searchresult ＆ search＝lactation ＆ selected Title ＝1%7E150
- Taiwan Pediatric Association. Breastfeeding Advices. Retrieved on May 20, 2016, from: https://www.pediatr.org.tw/people/eduinfo.asp?id＝35
- Ventura, A. K. (2017). Does breastfeeding shape food preferences? links to obesity. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism,70(Suupl 3),8-15. doi: 10.1159/000478757