General Practice 2022

Produç&milk activity in pregnancy: when it happens and how to stimulate it

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Produç&milk activity in pregnancy: when it happens and how to stimulate it
Produç&milk activity in pregnancy: when it happens and how to stimulate it

Breast milk production starts right away during the first trimester of pregnancy, but tends to intensify from the 2nd trimester. For this reason, many pregnant women may leak milk a few weeks or months before birth. This milk is known as colostrum and is the first type of milk that a woman produces to feed her baby, being very rich in water and proteins.

The "real" milk, richer in fat and carbohydrates, only appears after delivery, when the hormones produced by the placenta decrease and the baby stimulates a greater production when sucking at the breast. See how breast milk evolves over time.

Although milk production is a completely natural process that begins during pregnancy, there are some tips that help ensure greater milk production, such as:

1. Drink plenty of water

Water is the main component of breast milk, so it is important that pregnant women consume plenty of fluids to meet this need. During pregnancy, the recommendation is that women get used to drinking at least 3 liters of water a day, which will also be important to reduce swelling and prevent urinary infections, which are common in pregnancy.

2. Eating well

Feeding well is important so that the pregnant woman has all the nutrients necessary for milk production, and the consumption of foods such as fish, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds such as chia and linseed should be increased, and whole grains, such as whole-grain bread and brown rice.

These foods are rich in omega-3 and vitamins and minerals that will improve the quality of breast milk and favor the baby's nutrition.In addition, eating well helps to regulate weight gain during pregnancy, providing the necessary energy that a woman's body needs to generate milk production. Know what to eat while breastfeeding.

3. Massage the breasts

At the end of pregnancy, the woman can also do gentle massages on the breast to strengthen the nipple and gradually encourage the let down. To do this, the woman must hold the breast, placing one hand on each side and apply pressure from the base to the nipple, as if it were milking.

This movement should be repeated five times with delicacy, then doing the same movement with one hand above and one below the breast. massage should be done 1 to 2 times a day.

How to stimulate milk let-down

In general, milk takes longer to come down in the first pregnancy, and it is necessary to drink at least 4 liters of liquids a day, as water is the main component of milk.In addition, the baby should be placed on the breast to suckle even if no milk comes out, as this contact between the mother and the child further increases the production of the hormones prolactin and oxytocin, which stimulate the production and let-down of milk.

After the baby is born, breast milk production only increases considerably after about 48 hours, time required for the hormone prolactin to increase in the bloodstream and stimulate the body to produce more milk. See a Complete Guide to Breastfeeding for Beginners.

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