The Business of Breast Feeding

The Business of Breast Feeding


I began my ultrasound research in lactation because very little research has been done in that area so we use ultrasound imaging all the time to look at pregnancy, the foetus, abnormal breasts but no-one had ever looked at lactating breast. So what happens is the baby sucks at the breast and nervous impulses come to the brain and that releases oxytocin down to the breast and that helps squeeze the milk out of the alveoli, where everything is collected, towards the nipple so that the baby can remove it. So the goal of looking at breast anatomy in lactating women was to determine whether the structure was as we believed it was and did the breast store a lot of milk by the nipple because babies supposedly at that time were believed to strip milk from the breast the same way you milk a cow. and what we found with the ultrasound was they didn’t strip the milk from the breast what they did was use an even motion and actually suction was critical to getting the milk out of the breast. And so we were looking at pump patterns that would initiate this reflex much more quickly and make the pump much more effective so our research on breast feeding using ultrasound led to the development of an evidence based teat that works in a similar way to breast feeding so when infants feed from this teat they use an action similar to that of the breast.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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