Blood and milk prolactin and the rate of milk synthesis in women

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Abstract

In women, the concentration of prolactin in the plasma increases in response to nipple stimulation. This response has led to the assumption that prolactin influences the rate of milk synthesis. To investigate this hypothesis we have measured 24 h milk production, the short-term (between breastfeeds) rates of milk synthesis and the concentration of prolactin in the blood and breastmilk, from 1 to 6 months of lactation in eleven women. over the long term, the 24 h milk production remained constant (means +/- S.E.M.): 708 +/- 54.7 g/24 h (n = 11) and 742 +/- 79.4 g/24 h (n = 9) at 1 and 6 months, respectively. The average short-term rate of milk synthesis (calculated from the increase in breast volume between breastfeeds; means +/- S.E.M.) did not change: 23 +/- 3.5 ml/h (n = 23) and 23 +/- 3.4 ml/h (n = 21) at 1 and 6 months, respectively. However, significant variation in the short-term rate of milk synthesis (from
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1020
JournalExperimental Physiology
Volume81
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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