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Breast Feeding Evaluation Blood Test

The Breast Feeding Evaluation Blood Test is a comprehensive assessment designed to evaluate a mother's lactation ability by measuring the primary hormones essential for milk production.


Test Code: 5151

Also Known As:

Methodology:

See individual tests

Specimen Type: Blood

Preparation:

Fasting for at least 12 hours is required. Additionally, biotin consumption should be stopped at least 72 hours prior to the collection. The blood sample should be drawn before starting the Schilling test, transfusions, or B12 therapy.

Test Results:

2-3 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday, or lab delays.


Test Code: 5152

Also Known As:

Methodology:

See individual tests

Specimen Type: Blood

Preparation:

Fasting for at least 12 hours is required. Additionally, biotin consumption should be stopped at least 72 hours prior to the collection. The blood sample should be drawn before starting the Schilling test, transfusions, or B12 therapy.

Test Results:

2-3 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday, or lab delays.

Description

What is the purpose of this test?

The Breast Feeding Evaluation assesses the mother's ability to breastfeed her child. The test measures the levels of various hormones in the mother's blood that are crucial for lactation. The primary hormone that plays a key role in milk production is prolactin, which is produced by the pituitary gland. The test checks if the mother's body is producing enough prolactin to stimulate milk production. If the levels of prolactin are low, it could impact the amount of milk produced, which could lead to difficulties in breastfeeding. 

The breast feeding evaluation blood test is a helpful tool for identifying any potential issues that may be hindering successful breastfeeding. Once the results are obtained, healthcare providers can develop an appropriate treatment plan to address any underlying hormonal imbalances that are affecting lactation. This can include medication, supplements, and lifestyle changes that can help increase hormone levels and improve breastfeeding outcomes.

 

The Breast Feeding Evaluation includes the following:

Prolactin - Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. Its main role is to stimulate milk production in the breasts of a lactating mother. Prolactin helps develop mammary glands during pregnancy and after childbirth, enabling the mother to produce milk for her baby. When a baby suckles at the breast, it sends signals to the mother's brain, triggering prolactin release. The more the baby feeds, the more prolactin is released, which helps to maintain milk production.

Vitamin B12 with Folate - Vitamin B12 with folate is an important vitamin for our body's overall health. Vitamin B12 helps in the production of DNA and red blood cells, while folate helps the body form new cells. During breastfeeding, the mother's body requires more vitamin B12 and folate to ensure the baby is getting the necessary nutrients. Vitamin B12 with folate helps prevent anemia and other health problems in both the mother and the baby.

Vitamin D - Vitamin D is a nutrient that our body needs to stay healthy. It helps our body absorb calcium, which is important for building strong bones. When it comes to breastfeeding, vitamin D plays a crucial role in ensuring that the baby has enough of it. Breast milk naturally contains some vitamin D, but it may not be enough to meet the baby's daily needs. Breastfeeding mothers are often advised to take vitamin D supplements to ensure that the baby gets enough vitamin D. This way, the baby can get all the vitamin D they need to grow healthy and strong.

Calcium - Calcium is a mineral essential for developing and maintaining strong bones and teeth. It also plays a vital role in various bodily functions, such as muscle contraction, nerve function, and blood clotting. During breastfeeding, calcium is important for both the mother and the baby. The baby needs calcium to support the growth and development of their bones and teeth, while the mother needs to replace any calcium lost during lactation. If the mother's calcium intake is inadequate, her body will take calcium from her bones, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis. Therefore, it's important for breastfeeding mothers to consume enough calcium-rich foods or take calcium supplements to ensure their and their baby's health.

 

Benefits of the Breast Feeding Evaluation:

  1. Nutrient Levels: Blood tests can assess the mother's nutrient levels, including vitamins and minerals. Adequate nutrition is essential for both the mother's health and the nutritional content of breast milk.
  2. Hormone Levels: Hormonal changes occur during pregnancy and lactation. Blood tests can help assess hormone levels, such as prolactin, which plays a crucial role in milk production.
  3. Anemia Screening: Postpartum women may be at risk of anemia due to blood loss during childbirth. Anemia can affect energy levels and overall health, potentially influencing the ability to breastfeed.
  4. Medication Monitoring: If a breastfeeding mother is taking medications, blood tests may be performed to monitor medication levels and ensure they are within safe ranges for both the mother and the baby.

 

When should I order a Breast Feeding Evaluation?

This test is typically ordered when a mother is experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding or if her baby is not gaining weight properly. The test measures the levels of hormones that are important for milk production and can help identify any issues that may be affecting breastfeeding. It is always best to consult with a healthcare provider to determine if a Breast Feeding Evaluation is necessary.

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