Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Stages of Lactogenesis

  • The series of cellular changes in the breast over the course of lactation, from milk secretion to maintenance and then cessation.
  • The Stages of Lactogenesis:
Stage I (secretory
Beginning in mid-pregnancy to day two or day three postpartum, the breasts develop the capacity to secrete breast milk, including the secretion of colostrum.
Stage II (secretory
Beginning on day two or day three postpartum until day eight, breast milk volume increases rapidly and then abruptly levels off.
Stage III (galactopoiesis) From approximately day nine postpartum and onwards, the volume of breast milk produced is maintained through a supply and demand mechanism.
Stage IV (involution) Involution occurs, on average, 40 days after the last breastfeed, when breast milk secretion ceases.
Women and Children
Breastfeeding Best Practice Guidelines for Nurses
Point of Care Resources