Lactation

lactatinglactatenursenursingmilk ejection reflexmilk productionbreast milk productioninduced lactationlactatesproduce milk
Lactation describes the secretion of milk from the mammary glands and the period of time that a mother lactates to feed her young.wikipedia
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Milk

cow's milkcow milkwhole milk
Lactation describes the secretion of milk from the mammary glands and the period of time that a mother lactates to feed her young.
Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to its young and can reduce the risk of many diseases.

Mammary gland

mammaemammary glandsmammary
Lactation describes the secretion of milk from the mammary glands and the period of time that a mother lactates to feed her young.
Lactorrhea, the occasional production of milk by the glands, can occur in any mammal, but in most mammals, lactation, the production of enough milk for nursing, occurs only in phenotypic females who have gestated in recent months or years.

Prolactin

lactationPRLreceptors, prolactin
This stage requires prolactin.
Prolactin (PRL), also known as luteotropic hormone or luteotropin, is a protein that is best known for its role in enabling mammals, usually females, to produce milk.

Oxytocin

oxytocicsfirst synthesis of a polypeptide hormoneBonding in mammals
Oxytocin is critical for the milk let-down reflex in response to suckling. Suckling by the baby stimulates the paraventricular nuclei and supraoptic nucleus in the hypothalamus, which signals to the posterior pituitary gland to produce oxytocin.
This helps with birth, bonding with the baby, and milk production.

Hyperprolactinaemia

hyperprolactinemiachiari-frommel syndromeexcessively high prolactin level
It can occur in males and females of many mammal species as result of hormonal imbalances such as hyperprolactinaemia.
Prolactin is a peptide hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland that is primarily associated with lactation and plays a vital role in breast development during pregnancy.

Breast

breastsbosombust
From the eighteenth week of pregnancy (the second and third trimesters), a woman's body produces hormones that stimulate the growth of the milk duct system in the breasts:
During pregnancy, the breast responds to a complex interaction of hormones, including estrogens, progesterone, and prolactin, that mediate the completion of its development, namely lobuloalveolar maturation, in preparation of lactation and breastfeeding.

Hormone

hormoneshormonalprohormone
From the eighteenth week of pregnancy (the second and third trimesters), a woman's body produces hormones that stimulate the growth of the milk duct system in the breasts:
Hormones are used to communicate between organs and tissues for physiological regulation and behavioral activities, such as digestion, metabolism, respiration, tissue function, sensory perception, sleep, excretion, lactation, stress, growth and development, movement, reproduction, and mood.

Nipple

nipplesteatsnipple erection
In most species, milk comes out of the mother's nipples; however, the monotremes, egg-laying mammals, lack nipples and release milk through ducts in the abdomen.
The physiological purpose of nipples is to deliver milk to the infant, produced in the female mammary glands during lactation.

Progesterone

endometrinprogestationalProgesterone for prevention of preterm birth
Progesterone influences the growth in size of alveoli and lobes; high levels of progesterone inhibit lactation before birth. Progesterone levels drop after birth; this triggers the onset of copious milk production.
In addition progesterone inhibits lactation during pregnancy. The fall in progesterone levels following delivery is one of the triggers for milk production.

Female

femalesfeminine
The process can occur with all post-pregnancy female mammals, although it predates mammals.
Only mammals produce milk.

Galactorrhea

galactorrhoeabreast milk secretion not related to breastfeedingLactorrhea
Galactorrhea is milk production unrelated to nursing. Rare accounts of male lactation (as distinct from galactorrhea) exist in historical medical and anthropological literature, although the phenomenon has not been confirmed by more recent literature.
Lactation requires the presence of prolactin, and the evaluation of galactorrhea includes eliciting a history for various medications or foods (methyldopa, opioids, antipsychotics, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, as well as licorice ) and for behavioral causes (stress, and breast and chest wall stimulation), as well as evaluation for pregnancy, pituitary adenomas (with overproduction of prolactin or compression of the pituitary stalk), and hypothyroidism.

Breast pump

pumppumpingpump breast milk
not feeding or pumping often enough
A breast pump is a mechanical device that lactating women use to extract milk from their breasts.

Pituitary gland

pituitaryhypophysishypophysis cerebri
Suckling by the baby stimulates the paraventricular nuclei and supraoptic nucleus in the hypothalamus, which signals to the posterior pituitary gland to produce oxytocin.
The anterior pituitary (or adenohypophysis) is a lobe of the gland that regulates several physiological processes (including stress, growth, reproduction, and lactation).

Estrogen

oestrogenestrogensestrogenic
Estrogen stimulates the milk duct system to grow and differentiate. Like progesterone, high levels of estrogen also inhibit lactation. Estrogen levels also drop at delivery and remain low for the first several months of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers should avoid estrogen-based birth control methods, as a spike in estrogen levels may reduce a mother's milk supply.
Estrogen, in conjunction with growth hormone (GH) and its secretory product insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), is critical in mediating breast development during puberty, as well as breast maturation during pregnancy in preparation of lactation and breastfeeding.

Human placental lactogen

human chorionic somatomammotropin human placental lactogen (HPL)chorionic somatomammotropin-B
Human placental lactogen (HPL) – from the second month of pregnancy, the placenta releases large amounts of HPL. This hormone is closely associated with prolactin and appears to be instrumental in breast, nipple, and areola growth before birth.
In a bioassay, hPL mimics the action of prolactin, yet it is unclear whether hPL has any role in human lactation.

Areola

areolaenipple-areola complexaereola
Suckling by the baby innervates slowly-adapting and rapidly-adapting mechanoreceptors that are densely packed around the areolar region.
The mature human female nipple has several small openings arranged radially around the tip of the nipple (lactiferous ducts) from which milk is released during lactation.

Male lactation

paternal lactation
Rare accounts of male lactation (as distinct from galactorrhea) exist in historical medical and anthropological literature, although the phenomenon has not been confirmed by more recent literature.
Such production is known as lactation.

Lactiferous duct

milk ductsmilk ductductal
From the eighteenth week of pregnancy (the second and third trimesters), a woman's body produces hormones that stimulate the growth of the milk duct system in the breasts:
Lactation

Endocrine system

endocrineendocrine organendocrinological
The hormonal endocrine control system drives milk production during pregnancy and the first few days after the birth.
Hormones are used to communicate between organs and tissues for physiological regulation and behavioral activities, such as digestion, metabolism, respiration, tissue function, sensory perception, sleep, excretion, lactation, stress, growth and development, movement, reproduction, and mood.

Erotic lactation

Breast feeding relationshiplactationLactophilia
Some couples may stimulate lactation outside of pregnancy for sexual purposes.
Lactation games: Any kind of sexual activity which includes the woman's milk. Such activity is widespread, and often unintentional, in the time after a woman gives birth, since many women experience a let-down reflex (releasing milk) when sexually aroused.

Supraoptic nucleus

supraopticsupraoptic (SON)SON
Suckling by the baby stimulates the paraventricular nuclei and supraoptic nucleus in the hypothalamus, which signals to the posterior pituitary gland to produce oxytocin.
For example, during lactation there are large changes in the size and shape of the oxytocin neurons, in the numbers and types of synapses that these neurons receive, and in the structural relationships between neurons and glial cells in the nucleus.

Galactagogue

galactogogueHelp with breastfeedinglactogenic hormone
Galactogogue
A galactagogue, or galactogogue, (from γάλα [γαλακτ-], milk, + ἀγωγός, leading) is a substance that promotes lactation in humans and other animals.

Intercostal nerves

intercostal nerveintercostalthird intercostal
The electrical impulse follows the spinothalamic tract, which begins by innervation of fourth intercostal nerves.
The fourth intercostal nerve is innervated by cutaneous slowly-adapting and rapidly-adapting mechanoreceptors, especially by ones densely-packed under the areola; innervation subsequently triggers oxytocin release, which, when in the peripheral bloodstream, causes myoepithelial cell contraction and lactation: this is an example of a non-nerve-innervation muscular reflex.

Lactation suppression

suppress lactation
Lactation suppression
Lactation suppression refers to the act of suppressing lactation by medication or other non pharmaceutical means.

Posterior pituitary

posterior pituitary glandneurohypophysispituitary gland, posterior
The somas of these neurons are located in the hypothalamus, but their axon and axon terminals are located in the infundibulum and pars nervosa of the posterior pituitary, respectively.