how does food consumed affect breast milk?


Why is the flavor of breast milk affected by different foods/how do the nutrients get to the mammary ducts? Also, what mechanism send the empty breast signal to start up milk production?

In: Biology

Important- blood, breast milk, any bodily fluid. It is not ‘made from’ what you eat- it is consumed into the gut, ingested all seperately, and reformed with select ingredients into suitable proportions of substances in the ducts. You don’t get, like, beef, in breast milk, only the things the body is designed to let in will appear. However, if you eat a significant amount of a substance, such as a vitamin or protein, it may appear in unusual proportions, so that will have an impact.

Breasts are not emptied and refilled. They are continually producing milk as long as it is demanded, and the lack of demand takes a while to hit home. Milk production is a continous trickle of gathering fluid, that a baby drinks irregularly so the breast is drained and refills by itself, like a stream filling a reservoir, sometimes opened, rather than turning a tap on and off to fill a sink, but sometimes the lake is full so no more stream can fill, and it is instead not formed until there is space. Hormones begin milk production- meaning non-pregnant women and men can randomly start making milk.

Milk production in the long term does respond to demand- if your breast milk is sitting around (turning into cheese) then you will stop producing it. This happens when you lose a baby or decide to wean, so many women could never stop breast feeding (Jon Arryn) but can also be impacted by body hormone changes, accidentally not producing enough milk for your baby through no fault of your own.