About bottle feeding
Breasts filling and the drying up of breast milk
Some women plan to bottle feed their baby in advance, from the very first feed. Others decide to breastfeed for a short while (24 - 48 hours, a few days, or a few weeks) and then fully formula feed, (or perhaps do a bit of both). If the baby is unwell, or medical problems arise for the woman, it may unfold that bottle feeding becomes the preferred choice for various reasons. A few women will begin breastfeeding, and then change to formula feeding, because of unexpected physical and emotional problems they encounter with early breastfeeding. Breastfeeding problems, and early weaning are explored in depth in breastfeeding variations. For women who are undecided you may wish to read choosing how to feed your baby in Class C.
Women who choose to formula feed from the start will still initially produce milk, before their body realises there is neither the demand, nor the stimulation, to continue to produce mature breast milk. They will also experience the same physical and emotional changes in the first week, as women who breastfeed. Both groups of women will experience breast fullness a few days after the birth, as well as the hormonal highs and lows, with many varied emotions, and possibly the 3rd day blues.
After giving birth, the woman's body is naturally designed to commence producing milk. This process is triggered by the hormonal changes after the placenta is delivered, along with a 'supply and demand system' that is stimulated by the baby suckling, or by the woman expressing her breasts. When milk is removed from the breasts and the nipples are stimulated, the woman's body is given the message to produce more milk, to replace what has been taken away. This is done by her pituitary gland in her brain being stimulated to release of the hormone 'prolactin'. The more milk that is removed and the more the nipples are stimulated, the more milk the breasts will produce.