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At birth, prolactin levels remain high, while the delivery of the placenta results in a sudden drop in progesterone, estrogen, and HPL levels.
This abrupt withdrawal of progesterone in the presence of high prolactin levels stimulates the copious milk production of Secretory Activation.
Oxytocin stimulates the muscles surrounding the breast to squeeze out the milk.
The process can occur with all post-pregnancy female mammals, although it predates mammals.
These include feeding in a familiar and comfortable location, massage of the breast or back, or warming the breast with a cloth or shower.
Suckling by the baby innervates slowly-adapting mechanoreceptors that are densely packed around the areolar region.
The increased pressure causes milk to flow through the duct system and be released through the nipple. The milk ejection reflex (also called let-down reflex) is not always consistent, especially at first.
Once a woman is conditioned to nursing, let-down can be triggered by a variety of stimuli, including the sound of any baby.