Illustration of breast glands during pregnancy

Illustration of breast glands during pregnancy

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Credit: JOHN BAVOSI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration of breast glands during pregnancy. The female breast consists mainly of 15-20 lobes of milk-secreting glands (here, coloured pink) em- bedded in fatty tissue (yellow). Ducts of these glands have their outlet at the nipple. The breast contains no muscle, but bands of fine ligaments weave between the fat and gland-lobules; they are attached to the skin and determine the breast's shape. During pregnancy, oestrogen and progeste- rone are secreted by the ovary and placenta. These hormones stimulate the milk-producing glands of the breast to develop, enlarge, and become active in preparation for breast-feeding. After birth, these glands first produce colostrum, then milk.

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Keywords: anatomy, artwork, breast tissue, female, gland, human body, lactation, mammary, reproduction, reproductive system

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