Oxytocin is a hormone released from the pituitary gland in the brain.
During pregnancy, oxytocin causes labor contractions to begin. Oxytocin also is
released when a woman?s breasts are stimulated by suckling or pumping, causing
milk to move from the ducts and out the tiny holes in the nipple (let-down
reflex). In the first few days after delivery, oxytocin also causes uterine
contractions that help shrink the uterus back to its prepregnancy size.
breast-feeding is established, your body may release
oxytocin when you hear a baby cry, think of your baby, or have sexual
intercourse. When this occurs, your breasts may leak milk whether or not you
are actively breast-feeding or pumping.
By Marguerite Lamb
Baffled by all those initials after doctors' names? Tired of
getting the referral runaround? We'll help clear up the confusion so you can
find the best treatment for your symptoms.
In today's medical marketplace, you're not a patient—you're a
"health-care consumer." That's good news and bad. It means you have
more autonomy and choice than ever—but it also means the ball is in your court
when it comes to figuring out whom to trust with your health. Should...