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Thread: A strange question about let-down

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    175

    Default A strange question about let-down

    So, I think most of us have a bilateral let down?
    Baby feeds on one side and once let down starts the other breast starts let down as well.
    My question ...
    If you stopped let down in the breast she wasn't nursing on by applying pressure are you subconsciously telling your body you don't want a let down?

    And how can you increase the let down in the breast that has let down with no baby attached once she does attach - as I seem to only get one let down per boob.

    I know it's an odd thing to ask but a let down is partially a conditioned response - hence if you're stressed your let down takes longer to kick in.

    So therefore should you let the other breast flow and lose that milk, or should you apply pressure and make it stop so she can get that milk - hoping you get another let down on that breast if she nurses on both in one sitting!?

    Does that make sense?
    It's hard to describe what I'm trying to say

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: A strange question about let-down

    I just let whatever happens happen, but then pressure has never stopped my letdown anyway. I personally wouldn't worry about it. Milk is available in the breast after the initial letdown, so it shouldn't be an issue if it doesn't letdown again. Also, you may get a second letdown in that breast once the baby starts nursing, but just don't feel it.

    I'm also not convinced that it is really a conditioned response. It's a reflex, and stress can modify a lot of different reflexes. My milk would letdown at random times for the first several months. I'm not sure it's something you can control, but maybe someone else here knows better.

    At any rate, I really don't think it is something that warrants concern.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: A strange question about let-down

    Don't worry about it. Many moms experience simultaneous letdowns in the first few weeks/months of breastfeeding, but as time goes on it is quite likely that the letdown will be confined to the breast that is being used at the time. You can feel free to try to stop the letdown on the free breast, or you can just let it spill out. Up to you, and no big deal either way. There will always be milk in the breast, regardless of whether or not you "lose" that first letdown.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: A strange question about let-down

    I routinely used pressure to try to limit the leaking on the unused side, and it never seemed to have any impact on my ability to produce milk on that side later. Over time, I got less leaky, which was nice. So I'd only really make milk on the breast that Joe was actually nursing on, which was fine. And after a while, I didn't feel letdowns as strongly, but that didn't mean there wasn't milk for Joe to drink - there still was. So I agree, I wouldn't worry about it all.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

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