Breast milk - pumping and storing - Overview
Milk - human; Human milk; Milk - breast; Breast pump information
Definition of Breast milk - pumping and storing:
Pumping and storing breast milk can help provide a stay-at-home mom with the chance to have time for herself.
Once she returns to work, keeping up her supply of breast milk can be more of a challenge. She will need to keep her milk supply by continuing to pump and collect breast milk for her child to use while she is at work.
However, good planning, support, and the correct equipment can help a woman continue to breastfeed, even after returning to work outside the home.
Click here to see a video on storing breast milk.
Milk is produced in small, sac-like glands in the breast. Certain hormones (such as estrogen, progesterone, pituitary prolactin, and lactogen) cause these sacs to grow and develop. This process starts during the second trimester of pregnancy.
The human breast does not store a large volume of milk. Your breasts will make new milk with every feeding.
- Suckling causes the release of a hormone called prolactin. This hormone starts the milk production and causes the release of another hormone called oxytocin.
- Oxytocin causes the "let-down reflex" of the milk glands. The milk is squeezed out of the milk gland, into the milk ducts, and into the nipple.
During every feeding, the makeup of your breast milk changes.
- At the beginning of the feeding, the milk is bluish and contains lactose and proteins, but little fat. Such milk is called foremilk.
- The end of the feeding produces hindmilk. The hindmilk contains more fat, the main source of energy for your baby.
- Reviewed last on: 4/28/2011
- A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital; and Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine (7/26/2010).
Payne PA, Tully MR. Breastfeeding promotion. In: Ratcliffe SD, Baxley EG, Cline MK, Sakornbut EL, eds. Family Medicine Obstetrics. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008: section D.
CDC. Breast-feeding/Proper Handling and Storage of Human Milk. Page last reviewed: March 4, 2010.
Eglash A, Montgomery A, Wood J. Breastfeeding Disease-a-Month. 2008;54.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the
diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be
consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all
medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not
constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885