Short duration of breast feeding, or lactation, is characterized by inadequate milk production by a mother who has just given birth.
Normally, lactation begins with the production and release of colostrum from the mammary glands during the first few days after birth until the milk comes in. Colostrum is a yellow colored, nutrient rich fluid, high in calories and containing immunoglobulins to protect the baby from infection.
Lactation depends on adequate secretion of prolactin hormone by the pituitary gland which begins after the rapid decrease of estrogen and progesterone from the ovaries that occurs with childbirth. Prolactin secretion is afterward stimulated by sucking of the infant and continues as long as the infant nurses.
Milk production to meet the needs of the infant depends on adequate nutrition on the part of the mother.
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