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Could you briefly outline the human mother's milk manufacturing process?

-- Jerry Dixon, Santee

Before pregnancy, breasts are just muscle and fat pads, with the mammary glands (alveolar cells and ducts) just sitting there, being rudely whistled at, waiting to be called into action. The chemistry of pregnancy transforms the mammary gland into two different types of cells: alveolar cells and secretory cells. Following delivery milk is synthesized at the cellular level in the breast and contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, specific protections against viruses and bacteria, aids to digestion and organ growth, and actually changes composition as breast feeding continues and the baby grows. It's species- specific, very complex, and probably tastier than strained spinach.

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