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I’m a lactation counselor with Ardo. Let’s talk how your breastmilk is made!

When you pump or your baby breastfeeds, messages from your nipple travel through your nervous system to the pituitary gland in your brain. The pituitary gland releases the hormones prolactin and oxytocin, which travel back through your bloodstream to your milk making cells in your breasts. Here at your milk making cells, prolactin binds to the prolactin receptors to signal the production of milk. Removing milk releases more prolactin and if prolactin levels fall, your supply will decrease.

Next, Oxytocin causes the small muscles around your milk making cells to squeeze and contract and move the milk into the milk ducts and out of the nipple pores. This is called a letdown!

In sum, prolactin makes milk and oxytocin eject the milk and it’s all cycle working off of supply and demand. The more often you pump or breastfeed and empty your breasts, the more your hormones will be released, and the more milk you will make for your baby.

When your baby isn’t at your breast, you want to make sure that you have a pump that truly mimics your baby’s suckling so you can have the proper nipple stimulation. This is why the Swiss engineers at Ardo created the Calypso breast pump. The Calypso uses a piston motor to imitate true suckling. To learn more about the technology behind our breast pumps, read here.