It must have been during the free period of Chemistry, when I started to ponder. The milk that I had for breakfast probably contributed to this somehow, though I’m unsure of the exact magnitude. Okay so I was wondering, do only pregnant mammals produce milk? It was tugging at me so I decided to find out the truth the moment I got back. Typing in “pregnancy” and “milk” into the search function of Wikipedia, I was brought to the page on Lactation.
The following is credited to Wikipedia.
Lacctation describes the secretion of milk from the mammary glands, the process of providing that milk to the young, and the period of time that a mother lactates to feed her young. The process occurs in all female mammals, and in humans it is commonly referred to as breastfeeding or nursing. In most species milk comes out of the mother’s nipples; however, the platypus (a non-placental mammal) releases milk through ducts in its abdomen. In only one species of mammal, the Dayak fruit bat, is milk production a normal male function. In some other mammals, the male may produce milk as the result of a hormone imbalance. This phenomenon may also be observed in newborn infants as well (for instance witch’s milk).
Women who have never been pregnant are sometimes able to induce enough lactation to breastfeed. This is called “induced lactation”. A woman who has breastfed before and re-starts is said to “relactate”. If the nipples are consistently stimulated by a breast pump or actual suckling, the breasts will eventually begin to produce enough milk to begin feeding a baby. Once established, lactation adjusts to demand. This is how some adoptive mothers, usually beginning with a supplemental nursing system or some other form of supplementation, can breastfeed. There is thought to be little or no difference in milk composition whether lactation is induced or a result of pregnancy. Rare accounts of male lactation (as distinct from galactorrhea) exist in the medical literature.
Some drugs, primarily atypical antipsychotics such as Risperdal, may cause lactation in both women and men. Also, some couples may use lactation for sexual purposes.
Ahha I have found the answer. Now that’s out of the way, it’s time for some A-Math revision. Chapter 9.2 and bed time, you know.