The nurse at the hospital kept saying the word ‘letdown.’ What is this and what does it mean?
The word ‘letdown’ is used to explain when milk starts flowing out of your breast. When your baby first latches on, milk might not come out right away. If it does, it might come out more slowly. When your baby latches to the breast it triggers two important hormones vital to breastfeeding.
Prolactin is what makes breast milk and oxytocin is what helps milk to flow out. Once your milk ‘lets down’, you will notice it starts flowing out faster and with more force. Some moms have slow letdowns, while others have fast letdowns. You might even notice your baby gulping during this time, moving his or her arms, or even coughing or choking on the milk.
If your baby seems to have trouble when your milk first ‘lets down’, remove the baby from breast and sit him or her upright to try and burp. Massage the breast until the flow slows down, then latch your baby back on to finish feeding.