In the normal positive feedback loop of lactation two main hormones are involved. Prolactin and Oxytocin. The level of prolactin increases during pregnancy and stimulates the growth of mammary glandular tissue in the breast to prepare for the production of milk. The text tells us that milk is not secreted during pregnancy due to the hormones of estrogen and progesterone and human placental hormones that blocks the action of prolactin. After birth the sucking of the newborn stimulates nerve receptors in the nipple/areola which sends signals to the hypothalamus, which then sends signals to the anterior pituitary to release prolactin and the posterior pituitary to release oxytocin. Prolactin results in milk formation in the alveolar sacs of the mammary glands and oxytocin causes myoepithelial cells which surround the alveolar sacs to contract and initiates the milk ejection reflex to cause milk let down to feed the newborn.

Lactation requires an adequate amount of glandular tissue as well as intact hormonal and neuroendocrine pathways. The changes seen in pregnancy that initiate the milk producing capacity of the breasts are referred to as lactogenesis. The hormones necessary for milk production are prolactin and the sudden drop in progesterone which occurs after the placenta is delivered.

Insufficient milk supply is the #1 reason most mother cease their breast-feeding journey. Breast Hypoplasia is a common reason why women may be unable to produce an adequate milk supply. Hypoplasia in women usually is due to incomplete development of breast tissue before puberty. They are lacking glandular tissue. The research on hypoplasia is very uncertain as there are not a lot of answers or reasons why. It is unknown if surgical reconstruction is a viable option.

There are many medications on the market that aid in the production of milk. A great resource for mothers that are unable to produce enough of a supply on their own. Medications that aid in milk production  work to increase prolactin levels, which is the hormones responsible for milk production. Two popular medications for increasing milk is Reglan, and Motilium. Reglan is typically used for other things, but a common side affect is increasing breast milk production by enhancing prolactin levels. Results can been seen within a few days, and will last as long as medication is taken.

Motilium has the same effect but works a bit differently. It works by blocking the dopamine receptors which indirectly leads to increased prolactin levels. Medication is not enough alone. Frequent nursing and or pumping to stimulate the breasts are crucial for increasing supply.

For my art piece I chose to bake a cake, and cut it into the shape of a breast as if looking from the internal side view. I am an avid baker, and thought this would be a fun project as I have never done one like this before. My goal was to show the detail anatomy of the breast. I used fondant for most of the details, however for the adipose tissue I used lemon curd. It worked perfectly and I am thrilled with the way that it turned out.