This hormone has a lot to do with how successful you will be with breastfeeding.
It’s around in small doses when your are pregnant and slowly increases as your pregnancy progresses.
Towards the end of pregnancy the prolactin levels are very high so this enables milk production.
The sooner the baby starts sucking the sooner your milk will start to produce- hence why many believe the first hour post birth is crucial for both bonding and breastfeeding.
The more baby sucks the more prolactin is produced therefore the more milk is produced.
This occurs due to the brain receiving messages through the nervous system to release the prolactin.
Its a very clever hormone because it also adjust your milk to what your babies needs are.
But there is an important factor that is often overlooked. 👀
The prolactin has to have a very positive environment to thrive.
If a women is anxious about her ability to feed, feels judged, may be embarrassed to breastfeed, finds it painful to feed, then prolactin is inhibited and the milk production and secretion will be diminished.
This is not a good scenario for successful breastfeeding for new mums.
Feeling pressured to breastfeed, copious amount of advertising about breast is best, not supportive enough advice in the first 72 hours, feeling confused, overwhelmed will all have a big impact on this little hormone.
Prolactin is best produced under the influence of happiness, confidence, no pain and relaxation.
This is why it is vital that all mums seek supportive and individual advice to help them breastfeed successfully.
Unfortunately majority of postnatal care professionals are blinded by what is important to the mum and baby and the push to breastfeed as a whole.