Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Got Milk?

A milk letdown is when milk, upon being asked for, travels down from the alveoli at the back of the breast to the ducts near the nipple, ready for sendoff. Of course, letdown happens when baby is nursing (several times each nursing session). But it also happens with other stimuli.
These are my body's favourite things to letdown for:
Riley's cry
Riley's smell (including his dirty laundry)
Rileys snuffling, grunting, or snorting
Skin to skin contact with Riley
opening the freezer
hearing ice crack in a glass
cold air anywhere near my chest
Ayden crying in earnest
random letdowns if Riley has not fed in awhile

other women have told me of these letdown triggers:
squeaky doors
the sound of their breast pump
violin music
the cat's meow (seriously)

Ah, milk. Breastmilk is so nutritious a two year old can get 50% of its nutritional needs met by nursing. Scientists are now researching the potential in stem cells found in breastmilk. A baby exposed to germs will have antibodies specific to those germs made in its mother's milk, even if the mom herself was not exposed to the same germs. Hooray for nature!


Roboseyo said...

I have a friend who's 22 or so, and she has one face that she can make which STILL sets her mom's menopausal, maternal mammaries moving. I've seen her do it, too. She says, "Mom?" and makes the face, and mom says, "STOP that! I HATE when you do that!"

Dana said...

I loved hearing that a two year old can get 50% of their nutritional needs met by nursing. Micah is largely anti-vegetable so I sometimes worry. This information helps put my mind at ease about his nutritional wellbeing.

I can testify that Micah has rarely been sick. At 3 months he had bronchiolitis, and at a year he had a cold. That's it. I also attribute his impressive boo-boo healing powers to breastfeeding.

I didn't encounter interesting milk letdown stimuli with either of my kids. (Maybe because they were always nursing, ha ha). In the early months with Eva I would sometimes leak between sessions. With Micah I never leaked at all. However with Micah even now I let down in both breasts when he is nursing at one.

tamie said...

Horray for nature indeed! That is just SO COOL. This post totally made me smile. I just love it.

Janet said...

I LOVED nursing. If anything, I miss that the most. It truly is miraculous!!!!