How well do you know your BREASTS?
Get ready to be amazed at how your breasts work. Take our quick quiz and find out how much you know.
1. How many openings does a nipple have?
A) One only B) About four C) I have no idea
2. Which breast size makes the most milk?
A)A, B and C cup B)D, E and F cup C) Size doesn’t matter
3. What is the shape of the nipple while feeding?
A) Round B) Asymmetrical C) Flat
The correct answer is B, but don’t feel bad if you chose A. Most women who have not nursed a baby before think that the nipple only has one opening, when in fact the number of openings is unique to every woman. According to a German study*, lactating mothers have on average 3.9 active milk ducts (holes) on each nipple. Wonder why? Milk sprays out of the multiple holes and spreads around the mouth where it mixes with saliva. This puts the lactose in the milk in contact with the lactase enzyme in your baby’s saliva, which aids digestion and helps prevent colic. It makes sense that Mother Nature is just that clever.
The answer is C – size is irrelevant. Your cup size has no bearing on the amount of milk you produce. Your breast size is determined largely by how much fatty tissue you have, and fatty tissue has no connection with how much milk you make. The mammary glands make the milk, and the production is triggered by baby’s nursing. When a baby sucks, the milk is pushed from the glands to the ducts under the nipple and areola and out into baby’s mouth. Your breasts will get larger though during pregnancy as the glands prepare themselves, and they will be larger as they fill with milk. The amount of milk, however, is determined by how much baby nurses: Simple demand and supply.
The answer is B. When your baby feeds, your nipple changes shape to an asymmetrical flat, elongated shape – adapting optimally to your baby’s mouth for proper jaw and muscle coordination. Your baby’s mouth will latch around the areola, making a sealed vacuum and drawing the nipple into the mouth. When your baby latches properly, no air will get in. A German study shows that a newborn typically consumes 70 g of breastmilk in 13 minutes, with 569 sucking motions and 53 pauses. Fascinating! All this sucking gives more than just nutrition – it actually exercises the jaw, lips and facial muscles, widening the lower jaw and helping optimal oral development.