Pumping and storing breast milk can help provide a stay-at-home mom with the chance to have time for herself.
Once she returns to work, keeping up her supply of breast milk can be more of a challenge. She will need to keep her milk supply by continuing to pump and collect breast milk for her child to use while she is at work.
However, good planning, support, and the correct equipment can help a woman continue to breastfeed, even after returning to work outside the home.
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Milk - human; Human milk; Milk - breast; Breast pump information
Milk is produced in small, sac-like glands in the breast. Certain hormones (such as estrogen, progesterone, pituitary prolactin, and lactogen) cause these sacs to grow and develop. This process starts during the second trimester of pregnancy.
The human breast does not store a large volume of milk. Your breasts will make new milk with every feeding.
- Suckling causes the release of a hormone called prolactin. This hormone starts the milk production and causes the release of another hormone called oxytocin.
- Oxytocin causes the "
let-down reflex" of the milk glands. The milk is squeezed out of the milk gland, into the milk ducts, and into the nipple.
During every feeding, the makeup of your breast milk changes.
- At the beginning of the feeding, the milk is bluish and contains lactose and proteins, but little fat. Such milk is called foremilk.
- The end of the feeding produces hindmilk. The hindmilk contains more fat, the main source of energy for your baby.
Review Date: 04/28/2011
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital; and Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine (7/26/2010).