The Science of Let-Down
When a baby begins to nurse, nerves in the nipple are activated which cause the release of hormones (prolactin and oxytocin) that cause the breast to produce and then push out or “let-down” the milk. The let-down reflex can occur by thinking about, looking at, or hearing your baby. Sometimes simply looking at a photograph of any baby can stimulate let-down. How long it takes can vary from woman to woman or even from feeding to feeding, but it's usually anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Mamava provides a clean, comfortable, private place to pump or nurse, helping more mothers meet their breastfeeding goals.
Did you know:
- Emotional stress or the environment and atmosphere in which a mom nurses or pumps can have a negative effect on let-down and make nursing or pumping more difficult.
- As older babies become more aware of their surroundings, they often become much more easily distracted which can interfere with successful nursing and the ability to fully empty the breasts.
- When a mom is away from home and her baby for an extended period of time (be it hours or days), pumping is essential to maintaining milk production. If a woman is to continue to feed her baby breastmilk, she will need to express milk every few hours throughout the day. If her breasts are not emptied of milk regularly, her milk supply will rapidly decrease.
- If a mom is unable to nurse enough to fully empty her breasts or pump when her breasts are full, this can result in engorgement of the breasts. Engorgement is a very painful condition that makes it challenging for the baby to latch on and can cause painful nipples, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Unrelieved engorgement can cause a low milk supply, plugged ducts, mastitis, or a serious breast abscess.
- The best environment in which to breastfeed or pump breastmilk is one in which you feel comfortable. For many women this will be in a calm, un-distracted setting with control of privacy.