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What is the Let-Down Reflex?

Each time baby begins to nurse the nerves in your breast send signals that release the milk in your milk ducts.

This let down reflex usually happens after your baby has been sucking the breast for about two minutes. Some women feel this let-down reflex as a tingling or a warmth. Other women don’t feel their let down at all. Even if you don’t feel your let down, you will see a change in baby’s swallowing patterns and hear your baby swallowing. Some moms with sensitive reflexes can let down their milk either right before or right at the beginning of a breastfeeding session. Many women experience an uncontrolled let-down reflex when they hear a baby cry or think of their child—suddenly, milk will begin to flow even if their baby is not nursing.

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For the first few days after birth, it is harder to feel this let-down feeling since your milk has not yet come in. After your milk has come in and you have been nursing for several weeks, your let-down response will become more regular.

Tips to Assist with Let-Down

  • Try to relax
  • Reduce distractions during nursing
  • Focus on your baby

If you are pumping

  • Look at a picture of your baby
  • Smell an article of baby’s clothing
  • Listen to a recording of your baby’s voice

If you are having trouble with your let-down reflex

  • Perform a gentle breast massage
  • Apply warm compresses to your breasts
  • Take a warm shower

Unimom's Minuet Breast-pump, includes a setting (Massage Mode) that mimics the fast, fluttering suckling that a baby does to stimulate your Let-Down. Simply turn it on, leave it on massage mode for the first 2 minutes, turning the level up to where is comfortable. Once let down is achieved, switch to expression mode and turn the level up to where is comfortable. Once your milk flow slows down near the end of your pumping session, you can change back to massage mode to try and achieve another let down if desired.

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Our Ultra Portable Minuet Breast Pump, features a massage pattern designed to stimulate the Let-Down Reflex.   


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