Even though getting through pregnancy is a feat in itself, the real challenge begins after the birth of the child, which especially includes looking after a newborn. We want to give them comfort and care. Massaging is one of those techniques that keep a baby healthy and happy. But sometimes newborns release a white fluid from their nipples, especially during a massage. Let us understand the milk production in newborns or witch’s milk.
This fluid, which is secreted from the breasts of infants is usually of the same consistency as that of mother’s milk and is known as witch’s milk. Mothers all over the world get concerned if they observe milk production in newborns or witch’s milk. So here are some facts about milk production in newborns but before that, we will answer the million-dollar question; “Is milk production in newborns or witch’s milk harmful for the baby?”
Is Milk Production In Newborn Or Witch’s Milk Harmful?
Well, the answer to this question is no, not at all. Production of milk in newborns is a normal physiological phenomenon and does not affect child’s health unless it persists for longer than a short period and/or inflammation or redness can be seen around the nipple. If such a thing occurs, you must consult a doctor.
Studies have shown that milk production in newborns or witch’s milk is common and is associated with larger than average breast nodules.1
Milk production in newborns may be more common in full-term babies than premature babies. As it is caused by hormones, full-term babies get more opportunity to accumulate them. The production of milk in newborns can last up to two months after the birth of the child. The breast ducts that are formed can sometimes persist into childhood.
Why Does Milk Production In Newborns Occur?
Milk production in newborns occurs because of the hormones but these hormones can be of various types. It occurs due to the combination of several different hormones.
Some of these are-
- Prolactin – Passing of the hormone prolactin in the infants through breastfeeding can cause milk production in the newborns. This hormone causes the production of milk in the mother and some of it can pass through the mother’s milk to the baby, causing milk production in newborns or witch’s milk.
- Growth Hormone – Growth hormone which is also known as Somatotropin, also passes into the body of infants through mother’s milk during breastfeeding. This hormone, which causes growth and development is also responsible for milk production in newborns or witch’s milk.
- Pituitary Hormone – After the birth of the child, there is an exponential increase in the hormones released by pituitary glands in the baby; which can cause milk production in newborns or witch’s milk.
- Thyroid Hormone – Just like a sudden increase in pituitary hormones, babies also experience a postnatal surge of thyroid hormones in their bodies. These hormones also have a similar effect and therefore, can cause milk production in newborns or witch’s milk.
How To Treat Milk Production In Newborns Or Witch’s Milk?
There is no need to treat the problem of milk production in newborns. It is one of those problems that go away with a little bit of time. No treatment is required for curing witch’s milk although, in some rare cases; it may develop into Neonatal Mastitis but there is no proof that these two conditions are related to each other or if one causes the other.
Some Random Facts About Witch’s Milk Or Milk Production In Newborns –
- The condition of milk production in newborns is also known as galactorrhea, in addition to witch’s milk.
- The disorder is called witch’s milk because, in many cultures, it is believed that the milk produced in newborns is used to feed a witch’s familiar spirits. It was earlier believed that it gets stolen from the sleeping babies of unwary mothers.
- Some people believe that gently massaging the breast and then removing the milk produced by newborns can lead to the development of good breast shape. But it is recommended not to do this, as it can lead to infection.
- Milk production in newborns or witch’s milk can occur in both sexes, male and female.
Thus it can be concluded that milk production in newborns or witch’s milk is common and there is no need to worry. If you follow some precautions, your baby will be just fine. However, if there are any concerns, if the baby shows other signs or symptoms of illness or the condition seems to worsen, it is advisable to consult a physician.