Lactation and Breastfeeding

A natural method of feeding an infant breast milk from birth to the time he or she can eat solid food.

4,128 Questions
Lactation and Breastfeeding

Why does a breastfed baby rarely suffer from kwashiorkor?

Kwashiorkor is caused by insufficient protein intake. If a baby is not getting either breastmilk or an artificial formula designed to supply adequate protein, they're at risk of kwashiorkor.

The reason it's a serious public health issue in the Developing World is not necessarily that baby formula is unavailable (although in some places, and some circumstances, it may not be) but that parents may not be able to afford enough to feed their children adequately. If they stretch formula out with too much water, because they can't buy enough, it puts the child at significant risk.

That's one of the reasons public health advocates encourage breastfeeding to the extent possible in the Developing World. (Another being that formula made from unsafe drinking water -- a very common problem -- is an enormous risk factor for causing diarrhea, which is one of the biggest threats to infant health in the Developing World.)

These health risks are part of the reason many health advocates have condemned the advertising of infant formula outside of the Industrialized World. Of course baby formula is necessary in many cases, but infant mortality in the Developing World would decrease a lot of its use was limited to those cases.

Pregnancy Symptoms
Lactation and Breastfeeding

Is leaking breast milk a symptom of pregnancy?

  • It's possible. Hormonal changes from pregnancy can do strange things... I hadn't even started to show when my milk (actually, the clear to white pre-milk substance, colostrum) came in for the first time - during sex. However, taking a pregnancy test is the only real way to know for sure.
  • When I was almost 17, I had the same (lactating). I had never been pregnant. I never had regular periods so I was on on b/c to regulate them. Anyway, the symptoms I was having (Lactating) was not normal so my gyno ordered me to get an MRI of the head. They discovered a large benign tumor on my "pituitary gland"(behind your eyes at the base of your brain).Which is referred to as "master gland" it controls all other glands (thyroid, etc.)and all hormones including Prolactin which produces the milk discharge.

    Now I'm 22 and 15 weeks' pregnant with my first babe. I've never had the discharge since they treated the tumor. Don't worry (I could be wrong!) but ask your OB/Gyn about it; he or she can check your blood for the levels or get you a painless MRI (similar to Cat scan). Squeezing your breast causes it to keep producing more, so try not to.

  • My friend had the leaking thing too... and she has it every morning. I too have it: when I press my nipples, out comes the white stuff. And we are both pregnant.
  • I also have the tumor on my pituitary gland. This causes your body to think it is preggers, so it starts to produce milk in your breasts. I had it since I was in high school, but I didn't know it was abnormal for my breasts to do that if I squeezed them. I finally asked about it when I was about 21, and they did an MRI to show that I had a tumor. All I do is take meds for it, and the meds have actually lowered my levels and have shrunk the tumor. They said in a year I may stop taking it all together and the tumor may be gone. But I would get it checked out. That would be best.
  • That's definitely not breast milk. Breast milk doesn't even come out of the nipples during the last stages of pregnancy... until a couple days after you have a baby. You are probably lactating due to an overload of estrogen in the body.
    • That is not true; women do leak in the latter stages of pregnancy. But it is in fact called colostrum which is a very protein-filled and nutrient rich form of milk. The body continues to leak it until a few days after the baby is born, and in fact when you are breastfeeding your estrogen levels are lower so leaking milk is not necessarily a sign of high estrogen levels! Like the other answers have mentioned prolactin (the hormone that causes you to produce milk) is regulated by the pituitary gland, and the removal of milk by the baby. If you are leaking milk and are not pregnant then you should definitely have it checked out by a doctor because it could indicate a pituitary problem.
  • I was leaking with my first girl at 6 months pregnant. about 5 months with my second girl.
Lactation and Breastfeeding
Swine Flu (H1N1/09)

Is the H1N1 vaccine safe for breastfeeding mothers?

Yes, flu vaccines, including the vaccine for the 2009 pandemic swine flu that is included in the seasonal flu vaccinations again for the 2012-2013 flu season, are considered safe and effective for breastfeeding mothers. The antibodies that are produced in response to the flu vaccines in the mother will also help protect the baby through the mother's milk. Also since infants under six months old can not be vaccinated yet due to their immature immune systems, it is recommended that anyone caring for these babies should be vaccinated, so they can not give the virus to the infant. This would include breastfeeding mothers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives the following related information (note that this information comes from the time of the initial H1N1/09 vaccine development for the 2009-2010 flu season. Since that time this vaccine is no longer needed to be given in a separate vaccination and has been included in the annual flu vaccine for the several years since then. No second vaccination is needed any longer. It is included in the 2012-2013 flu vaccine):

Both seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 monovalent influenza vaccines should be given to breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeeding is fully compatible with flu vaccination, and preventing maternal infection provides secondary protection to the infant.

Maternal vaccination is especially important for infants less than 6 months old, who are ineligible for vaccination. In addition, transfer of vaccination-related antibodies by breastfeeding further reduces the infant's chances of getting sick

with the flu.

While pregnant women should just receive the inactivated injectable form of influenza vaccine, nursing mothers can receive either the injectable or nasal spray form.

Pregnant women should not receive nasal spray vaccine for either seasonal flu or 2009 H1N1 flu. After delivery, women can receive the nasal spray vaccine, even if they are breastfeeding.

Medication and Drugs
Lactation and Breastfeeding
Muscle Relaxants

Can you take muscle relaxers while breastfeeding?

No not safe my doctor advised me to wait until I stopped breasrfeeding to take it.

Dieting and Weight Loss
Lactation and Breastfeeding

How much weight can you lose while breastfeeding?

It depends on the individual, but you can usually burn about 500 calories per day just by breastfeeding.

Lactation and Breastfeeding

What substances found in breast milk provide benefits for infants?


BlackBerry Devices
Lactation and Breastfeeding

What age can girls breastfeed?

When they get pregnant

Pregnancy Symptoms
Lactation and Breastfeeding

When can you start pumping breast milk?

When colostrum comes in during late pregnancy, your nipples can leak it. However, you should NOT pump before you are considered full term, as pumping simulates breastfeeding, which in turn causes your uterus to contract. The contraction of the uterus by way of nipple stimulation (breastfeeding/pumping) can cause you to go into Pre-Term labor, before your baby is ready to be born.

Lactation and Breastfeeding

Can you train for a marathon while breastfeeding?

No problem. If you and your baby are in good health there is no problem with this kind of exercise program. Of course, make sure you are getting enough water and nutrition. I would advise that you stay away from any extreme diet program. Some runners carb load during training, but I would suggest that you focus your diet on keeping it well rounded with plenty of fruits and vegetables. The other element you need to mind is a proper well fitting sports bra. If you haven't run since you gave birth, you will probably find that your normal sports bra no longer fits. With the increased size and weight of your breasts proper support is even more important that usual. If you have any other concerns address them with your doctor or lactation consultant. Good luck on the race and let the rest of us know your time once the race is over.

Lactation and Breastfeeding

How can you make sure you continue to produce breast milk?

Schedules DONT WORK.

Feed your baby when it is hungry, not when you feel it should feed, breastmilk works on a supply and demand system.

Every feed, signals the body to make milk, so the longer you space between feedings, the less milk you make.

nurse, nurse, nurse! If you are "supplementing feedings" your supply is going to not be as good as it should be! Make sure to keep up a good breastfeeding or pumping schedule.

Pregnancy Symptoms
Lactation and Breastfeeding

Can you leak breast milk as early as 2-3 weeks pregnant?

No. You generally start "lactating" in the fourth to fifth month. Two to three weeks is way too soon.

What is actually produced, however, is not milk but a yellowish substance called "colostrum". Actual production of milk is triggered by the sudden drop of the hormone progesterone when the placenta (afterbirth) comes free.

It is, however, possible to artificially induce lactation before actual childbirth.

Lactation and Breastfeeding

Is 41 years of age too old to produce breast milk?

No, lactation is not age dependent. Even women who have moved into menopause can induce lactation. The hormones responsible for starting lactation are different than those involved in menstruation.

Lactation and Breastfeeding

Why do you have cramps while breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding helps your uterus contract and shrink back to normal size...hence cramping. Very common.

Lactation and Breastfeeding

When is a child too old to breast feed?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding until AT LEAST 1 year. The World Health Organization recommends AT LEAST 2 years.

Breastfeeding is NOT sexual abuse. It is feeding a child.

Lactation and Breastfeeding

How long between eating peanuts and breastfeeding?

Although not widely practiced in North America, the eating of nuts during pregnancy in many countries is as strongly discouraged as drinking. The reason for this is that although the food is processed by the mothers body, it is unable to be processed fully by the fetus. There are a number of studies that have concluded that the introducing of nuts during the pregnancy and first five years of life can contribute greatly to the contraction of nut allergies. My medical advice would be to abstain from eating nuts during your pregnancy and breast feeding period, as this could cause your child to gain such allergies. Take care, and good luck. Dr. B.

Lactation and Breastfeeding

Is leaking breast milk during pregnancy normal?

Many women leak colostrum (the first milk) at some time during pregnancy. It can be just a drop or enough that you need breast pads to keep from soaking your clothes. For some women, this starts quite early and for others it doesn't start until just before labor. Some women never experience leaking breasts and this has absolutely no effect on later ability to nurse. If one breast leaks more than the other, that breast may produce a bit more milk, but generally both breasts will produce enough. (Assuming you haven't had surgery and the breasts are not radically different sizes.) Here are more opinions and answers from other FAQ Farmers: * Leaking is normal. I started leaking colostrum when I was 12 weeks pregnant and it started being laced with milk at 30 weeks. I went 40 weeks 5 days. The leaking was so bad then that I'd soak breast pads, but now that he's out and I'm nursing they hardly ever leak anymore, he keeps 'em drained. * It is very normal. I have had 2 children and with both of them I started leaking breast milk around 5 months so there is nothing to worry about. Just stock up on nipple pads, because it sounds like you are going to be a milk factory like I was. * It's normal for me. I leaked a LOT of breast milk during my 8th month with my daughter, enough so that it would spray at times. Now I'm pregnant again, almost 5 years later and the leaking started even earlier, around the 4th month, and now into my 6th month, it sprays. Oh, if I lean on a breast, I soak my clothing, too. It can be inconvenient and embarrassing, but mostly it thrills me to know my baby's growing and on the way. 28 weeks and counting.

Pregnancy Health and Safety (Prenatal Care)
Pregnancy Symptoms
Head, Ears, and Nose
Lactation and Breastfeeding

Is leaking a small amount of clear fluid from my breasts normal?

This is comeing from. My breast

Breast Enlargement
Lactation and Breastfeeding

If after breastfeeding Can you maintain the size of your enlarged breasts by pumping after weaning or will they shrink?

As every nursing mother knows, a woman's breasts grow in size while they are lactating. This growth in size usually starts during the later part of pregnancy and is maintained as long as she is nursing. Once her child has been weaned and is no longer requiring milk and breast milk production ceases, this increased size is reversed and the woman's breasts largely return to their prepregnancy size. If a woman likes the new size of her bust line she can maintain it even after weaning by providing another means of breast/nipple stimulation by using a breast pump to keep up the demand for milk production. This stimulation can also be provided by a willing partner to keep up her milk supply.

Lactation and Breastfeeding

How long after pregnancy should you have breast milk?

Please note that I am not a doctor, nor is just about anyone else who has answered a question in this forum. So, this is not medical advice. If you have any concerns, see a professional.

That said, I believe it is not unusual to produce breast milk for years after giving birth. That's how you can have old-fashioned wet nurses.

I think this varies with each individual woman. But speaking from experience, after my second child I could still squeeze milk out after almost two years. however this was not the case after ant of my other pregnancies.

I don't think I can add anymore knowledge to this topic, but I just recently noticed that I am still producing breastmilk and my son is 3 and a half. I never noticed it before, not that I have squeezed my nipples to check.

From what I have read on the internet, it can be caused by birth control pills cause it increases your hormones (which I just recently went back on).........its weird and why didn't anyone tell me this could happen!


It is quite common to continue to produce milk up to 20+ years after stopping breastfeeding in small amounts.

As long as you continue to breastfeed you will make milk. I nursed my daughter for 2 1/2 years and produced milk the entire time.

Pregnancy Symptoms
Lactation and Breastfeeding

What stage during pregnancy do you produce milk?

third trimaster

Lactation and Breastfeeding

Do breasts hurt when they develop milk?

Most women do experience engorgement pain when the milk comes in. This lasts for 24-48 hours.

Lactation and Breastfeeding
Inducing Labor

Does black and blue cohosh work to induce labor?

English to Latin
Lactation and Breastfeeding

What is the Latin word for breastfeeding?

"ubere" is the latin word for "breastfeeding"

Lactation and Breastfeeding

When do you start producing breast milk during pregnancy?

Your breasts produce colostrum right away after labor. This is what the baby will drink while breastfeeding for the first couple of days after being born. Colostrum looks thinner than breast milk, and it has more of a yellow tint to it. It is still just the thing the baby needs those first few days. You will eventually see the colostrum looking thicker and whiter. This is your breast milk coming in. It is different for every woman, but it takes somewhere between 2 to 5 days after the baby is born to produce actual milk.

More details:When you are about 6 months, your body may start to prepare to begin milk production. Usually around 7 months, you will notice colostrum either leaking or expressed from the nipples. This is "pre-milk," and for some women, it does not appear until after the birth of your baby. About 3-4 days after birth, you will feel your breasts becoming engorged. This may cause your breasts to enlarge 3-4 times their original size, and can be hard, and very painful. A lactation consultant (available for questions at many hospitals) can help you learn how to relieve this.

Many physicians believe the breasts are not fully mature until a woman has given birth and produced milk. Breast changes are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy - a result of the pregnancy hormone, progesterone. In addition, the areolas (the dark areas of skin that surround the nipples of the breasts) begin to swell followed by the rapid swelling of the breasts themselves. Most pregnant women experience tenderness down the sides of the breasts and tingling or soreness of the nipples because of the growth of the milk duct system and the formation of the many more lobules.

By the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy, the breasts are fully capable of producing milk. As in puberty, estrogen controls the growth of the ducts and progesterone controls the growth of the glandular buds. Many other hormones, such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, oxytocin, and human placental lactogen (HPL) also play vital roles in milk production.

Other physical changes, such as the prominence of the blood vessels in the breast and the enlargement and darkening of the areola occur. All of these changes are in preparation for breastfeeding the baby after birth.

English Spelling and Pronunciation
Lactation and Breastfeeding
Kinds of Sentences
How To

How to relieve engorgement from weaning?

There are many techniques that can be used to dry up your milk and relieve engorgement. Cold cabbage leaves, crushed slightly and placed in your bra until they wilt, will help. Drinking sage or peppermint tea can decrease milk production. Using cold compresses for 20 minutes and taking ibuprofen can help alleviate the pain. Do not use heat or pump as that can stimulate your breasts to produce more milk. My lactation consultant suggested a product called the Lama Bra. It is specifically designed to relieve engorgement. No more rock hard swelling, heat, or pain. It is also just a great everyday bra that will get plenty of use when I am done breastfeeding.


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