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Stages of Lactation


How many Lactation stages you know?

The secretion of milk from the mammary glands of the mother is known as lactation. This lactation occurs in all mammalian mothers their young ones for a particular period after the birth of the baby or young ones.

Three Stages of Lactation

  1. Lactogenesis I
  2. Lactogenesis II
  3. Lactogenesis III

Lactogenesis I

  • Latter stage of pregnancy
  • Female’s breasts reach the Lactogenesis I stage.
  • Colostrum is a thick, yellowish fluid immediately secrete after the delivery of the baby.
  • High levels of progesterone restrict milk production.
  • Colostrum has all essential nutrients the baby need. It gives all resistant capacity to the baby in the initial stage which later leads to a healthy life style.


Lactogenesis II

  • Prolactin levels remain high
  • The placenta results in a decreased level of hormones include progesterone, estrogen, and HPL levels.
  • High prolactin levels stimulate milk production of Lactogenesis II.
  • Stimulation of breasts raises the  prolactin levels in the blood
  • This raised level remains for 45 minutes and back to the normal level in 3hours approximately.
  • Prolactin induces the alveoli cells to secrete milk.
  • Prolactin in milk is greater at times of higher milk production, and lower when breasts are fuller, and that the highest levels tend to occur between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.                                  

Insulin, Thyroxine, and cortisol are the hormones involved in this process. But the action of these hormones is yet to indentified by the researchers. After the birth the Lactogenesis II begins about 35 hours. It may take some 2 to 3 days for the mothers to feel the breast feeding and predicting the increased milk level in their breasts. It is advised by doctors, that if mother’s start feeding their babies, would increase the milk production and the sucking of the nipples may increase the level of milk.

What is Colostrum?

  • The first milk a breastfed baby receives.
  • Contains higher amounts of WBC and antibodies than mature milk
  • High level of immunoglobulin A (IgA), prevent germs from entering into the baby.
  • This IgA prevents food allergy as well.
  • Colostrum turns into mature milk after a couple of weeks from child birth.

Lactogenesis III

  • More removal of milk results with more secretion of milk.

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