Anatomy of the Breasts and Physiology of Lactation Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Anatomy of the Breasts and Physiology of Lactation Deck (14):

Describe the external structure of the breast

-Situated one on each side of the midline on the anterior chest wall
-Extend from the second to the sixth rib
-Lie over the pectoralis major muscle
-Supported by connective tissue
-Hemispherical in shape- axillary tail


What is the areola?

Pigmented area surrounding the nipple


What are the alveoli?

Minute sacs of milk secreting cells around a lumen


Which hormone stimulates alveoli to produce milk and where is it released from?

Prolactin which is released from the Anterior Pituitary Gland


How quickly do prolactin levels rise?

Within 10 minutes of suckling


What is an acini cell?

A milk-secreting cell


What causes the prolactin receptor sites to open on the acini cells?

The expulsion of the placenta following birth


How and where is oxytocin secreted?

When the baby suckles, a sensory impulse triggers the Posterior Pituitary Gland to secrete oxytocin


What effect does oxytocin have on the breast?

It stimulates the myoepithelial cells to contract.
This propels the milk along the ducts to the lactiferous sinuses (ampulla)


What can hinder the secretion of oxytocin?

Anxiety, stress and pain


What are positive signs of breast feeding?

Squeezing / tingling in her breasts
Milk leaking
Pain from uterine contractions
Slow deep sucks and swallowing


What effect does the feedback inhibitor have on lactation?

Breast milk contains a protein which can reduce or inhibit milk production. If the breast contains a lot of milk then the inhibitor acts by slowing down milk production.
Frequent sucking reduces the level of the inhibitor.


Describe the ENDOCRINE control of lactation

Controlled by pituitary gland using oxytocin and prolactin
It is systemic (both breasts)


Describe the AUTOCRINE control of lactation

Controlled by feedback inhibitor of laction
A build up slows milk production
A removal of the protein stimulates production
Is it local (one breast)