Tips on Managing Your Let-Down Reflex During Express Breast milk


Breastfeeding is not as easy as you think because sometimes, it involves pain and lots of milk. Have you heard about let-down reflex? Let-down reflex is also called milk-ejection. It is a normal reaction after breastfeeding and the key to a successful one. When the baby sucks, it will send message to your brain to release hormones like prolactin and oxytocin.

Prolactin is in charge for producing more breast milk. Oxytocin on the other hand is responsible for the milk to leave your milk ducts. Let-down is very important because it permits your breast milk to flow out of the breast. Without it, the baby will only receive a small amount of milk. Worse case is he/she will refuse to latch on or breastfeed.

How will you know if milk is letting down? If you can feel burning sensation in your breasts while the baby is latched on, it is a good sign that your milk is letting down. Another sign is you head the baby swallowing or gulping. When you notice that it is leaking milk even if baby is not feeding, that is also a good sign.

If you are a working mom, how can you manage let-down reflex during expressing breast milk? You have to keep in mind that the pain you will feel when ejecting milk is just fleeting. There are techniques that you can consider to manage your let-down during expressing breast milk. Here are some:

Get settled in a comfortable environment

Do not expect to express lots of milk if you are not in a conducive or comfortable environment. It should be warm, relaxed and quiet place – in other words, far from distraction. When expressing, breathe slowly and deeply. It always helps if you have warm drink or warm shower before expressing.

Massage breast

Expressing takes time. It is not something that should be hurriedly done. To help let-down, always massage your breast gently. The massage should include strokes directed towards the nipples. You can even roll your nipples in between your fingers – it helps. If you cannot trigger let-down through massage, try to touch your breast.

Get some support

People around should know what you are trying to do so they can help you. For example, they can become still or quiet while you do it. They can encourage you when you feel there is nothing more to give, etc. Mothers who have support can do anything.

Most importantly, you have to think of the baby. Remember that whatever your mind conceives, the body can achieve. If you are having troubles, go to the nearest doctor here in Singapore.

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