The Letdown Reflex & Low Milk Supply

If you don’t feel any letdowns (also known as the milk ejection reflex) does that mean you have low milk supply?

letdown reflex is hard to tell sometimes

Don’t worry. I have good news for you.

If you’re a breastfeeding mom who doesn’t feel the letdown reflex, this by itself, is nothing to be concerned about. Some women just never feel the letdown reflex.

My best friend has never struggled with low milk supply. Her breasts are like water balloons that are always on the verge of bursting and soaking everything in sight. Her pump bottles are full to the brim after 2.7 minutes. Her plump baby descends into a blissful milk-induced coma after a few minutes of breastfeeding. I swear she could hit a fly from across the room with a well-aimed squirt from her breast.

The amazing thing is that she’s NEVER felt a letdown, yet I think it’s safe to say she definitely has them. Other moms feel letdowns strongly when their baby is younger and it gradually diminishes over time, eventually going away completely. While still other moms feel the letdown reflex at the beginning of a breastfeeding session but not later in the session when the breasts are less full.

Because each woman feels (or doesn’t feel) the letdown reflex differently, it is not a reliable indicator of milk supply or milk flow. So don’t worry about feeling the letdown reflex, instead watch your baby’s jaw movement (the jaw should really be working in big movements) and listen closely for swallowing. If you see and hear these things, it is an indicator that milk is flowing. This method is far more accurate then relying on the feeling of a letdown reflex. 

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