Home  >  Parenting > How Milk is Made

How Milk is Made

How Milk is Made

As once you get pregnant your body undergoes several changes, while your body gets ready for breastfeeding before you even give birth. While during your pregnancy period, your breasts change. These changes allow your breasts to make milk and might cause them to feel fuller.

However, once your baby is born, their suckling releases the hormones in your body which evenly cause your breasts to make and release milk.


Milk production usually occurs within the alveoli, which interior process from the grape-like clusters of cells present in the breast. As on the state, once the milk is ready or made, in a simple process, it is squeezed out through the alveoli into the milk ducts. The ducts carry the milk through the breast.

One important factor to note as the size of your breasts does not affect your ability to generate milk or breastfeed. As women with small breasts can make the same quantity and quality of milk as women with larger breasts.


As whenever your baby suckles, it sends a message to your brain. The brain functions much effectively which then sends the active signals to hormones, prolactin, and oxytocin to be processed and released. Prolactin generally causes the alveoli of making milk. Oxytocin causes the muscles around the alveoli to squeeze milk out through the milk ducts.

Once the milk is released, it is called the let-down reflex. Signs of milk release are:

  • Tingling, fullness, or tightening in the breasts
  • Milk dripping from the breast.
  • Usually gets the uterine cramping after you put baby to the breast during the first few days after birth.

To encourage your milk to release, try these methods:

  • Find ways to relax, such as going to a calm place or trying deep breathing.
  • Place a warm compress on your breasts before breastfeeding.
  • Massage your breasts and hand to express a little milk.

The let-down reflex can happen for many other reasons as once after you breastfeed, like when you hear your baby cry, or you see or think of your baby. It can happen at any time of day you usually breastfeed your baby, even if your baby is not around you.


As in this role, your baby helps you make milk by suckling and removing milk from your breast. The milk production in your body depends on the baby as the more milk your baby drinks, the more milk your body will make. Frequent breastfeeding or milk removal (8-12 times or more every 24 hours), which is important to give especially in the first few days and weeks of your baby's life.

Your body will perform accordingly as per the baby's needs in this as milk will continue to vary as per your baby's needs. Like every time your baby feeds, your body knows to make more amount of milk for the next feeding. At first, it might feel like you are doing nothing but breastfeeding.


Leave a Comment