How Mum’s body makes Milk
The mother’s body gets the signal to make milk once her placenta is out of her body. In a normal birth, it is pushed out while in a c-section, it is removed after the baby is taken out. When the placenta is out, the body notices a shift in hormones. In fact, the body is now aware that the baby needs nutrition from another source since the placenta is out.
Immediately, the hormones oestrogen and progesterone decline rapidly in the moments after delivery. Parallely, the level of the hormone prolactin (one of the hormones responsible for lactation) immediately increases. This activates the milk-producing cells of mum’s breasts.
Milk production has begun! But, wait, it is not entirely done. One more activity is needed to get the milk flowing. This activity is the suckling of the baby.
When the baby feeds at the breast, the mother’s prolactin level increases, increasing milk production. A circular movement starts: that of demand and supply. When the baby empties your breast, more production starts in the breast to fulfil the demand.
If you don’t feed consistently, feed for only a brief period, or the baby is not able to suckle, milk production decreases.