“The nature has designed the provision that infants fed upon their mother’s milk. They find their food and mother at the same time. Its complete nourishment for them both for their body and soul.” –Rabindranath Tagore

When you are pregnant, your body is preparing to breastfeed and your breast undergoes many changes throughout pregnancy. The various changes in hormones that take place during pregnancy influence the growth & development of your breast.

    Breast development & function

    1. Mammogenesis:

    Means breast development which begins when we are born & continue through puberty and the process is completed during Pregnancy.

    2. Lactogenesis:

    • Stage 1: Mid Pregnancy till 2 days of Postpartum. Beginning of breast milk secreation.
    • Stage 2: From day 2 to Day 3 of Postpartum. Starts at about 28 weeks of pregnancy. During this time you may begin to realize that you are leaking colostrums which is held in milk duct and its secreted during the initial postpartum period.
    • Stage 3: Also known as Galactopoiesis, from establishment of milk to weaning. Starts at about 72 hrs.postpartum. It is the beginning of mature breast milk supply, which is made up of fore milk & hind milk.
    • Stage 4: Involution, from weaning to when completely stop producing milk.

    Breast changes during pregnancy

    Breast changes begin after conception and the weight of the breast increases approximately 12 ounces during pregnancy.

    • As the pregnancy progresses, the breast will increase in size and areola will darken.
    • The skin surrounding the breast will seem thinner and veins will be more noticeable.
    • The Montgomery gland (tiny little bumps on the areola that secrete natural oil to lubricate the area and help to prevent bacteria) becomes larger and more noticeable and the nipples become more pronounced.

    The Breast consists of ducts, alveoli and fibro fatty connective tissue.

    Mammogenesis : Preparation of Breast

    Lactogenesis : Synthesis and secretion of milk by breast

    Galactokinesis : Ejection of milk

    Galactopoiesis : Maintenance of lactation

    Position for Breast feeding

    There are multiple positions to breastfeed the baby. Any position is acceptable.

    The most important aspect of breast feeding is Proper sitting position with back support, as bad posture can aggravates backache.

    The various positions for Breast Feeding are as follows:

    1. Cradle Hold ( Same arm): Holding your baby across your lap supporting her with the same arm as your breast.Rest your elbow on pillow to avoid numbness in hand.
    2. Cradle Hold ( Opposite arm) : Holding your baby across your lap, using the opposite arm to the breast.
    3. Rugby Ball Hold: Holding your baby under arm
    4. Twins Hold : Using a cushion under your babies as you gentlysupport them with your hands on their upper backs
    5. Laid – Back Breastfeeding After a Caesarean: Semi- reclined, with your baby lying vertically on you, to protect your caesarean wound

    Latching – The Right Technique

    Latching on is the creation of a tight seal around nipple and most of the areola through the baby’s mouth. Ideally baby’s lower lip should be covering more of aerola than the upper lip and nipple should not hurt after few mins. To make sure Your baby is positioned properly at the breast, check the following points:

    • Your baby’s entire body, including her neck, shoulder and abdomen, should be facing you and close to your body. Her chin should touch the breast.
    • The Mouth should be wide open with her lips curled outwards.
    • The baby should be taking slow and deep sucks
    • After the feed, the baby should appear relaxed and satisfied.
    • One breast at a time of feeding will supply “hind Milk” which is important for baby’s immunity to fight against infection and baby’s hunger.