Breast Feeding Essay examples

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Breast Feeding

The fertility regulating effect of breastfeeding has been known for underestimated. This has been due mostly to the lack of knowledge of the events associated with breastfeeding that determine its contraceptive effect. It is now known that breastfeeding per se is not a particularly effective or reliable means of contraception. On the other hand, the period of amenorrhea associated with breastfeeding, commonly referred to as lactional amenorrhea, provides an important degree of contraceptive effect.

Physiology of Contraceptive Effect of Breast Feeding

„h Endocrine Responses to Breastfeeding

The physiological response to suckling at the breast is not local, but is mediated hormonally through
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Their data suggest that prolactin concentration might provide a sensitive index of the return of menstruation and fertility during lactation. According to their model, serum prolactin concentration at any week after delivery is dependent on:-

1. Some fixed early perinatal rate of decline in concentration. 2. The number of weeks that unsupplemented breastfeeding continued. 3. The number of weeks of supplemented breastfeeding. 4. The number of weeks since the onset of weaning.

The model assumes that ovulatory cycles would ensue once the average serum prolactin concentration has fallen to a threshold below which ovulation suppression no longer can be maintained. The hypothesis that the pattern of suckling stimulation determines the extent of the fertility suppressing effect was suggested in a review by McNeilly et al. Wood et al. developed a similar hypothesis in relation to their study of the Gainj people of New Guinea. The authors suggested that a pre-nursing concentration of prolactin will be re-established in about three hours unless another nursing episode intervenes. They base their reasoning on the observation thta serum prolactin concentration peaks within thirty minutes of initiation of nursing and the understanding that prolactin is removed from circulation with a
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