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How Does Slow Let-Down Affect Your Baby? It's Something Many Moms Deal With

Breastfeeding is not an exact science. Compare any two moms who have breastfed, and their experiences will likely be very different. And though this isn't a bad thing, (in fact, I believe it's one of the things that makes nursing so beautiful) it can be difficult to sort through problems you may be facing because of just how different each person's experience is. The same can be said of the all-mysterious let-down reflex. Some women feel it every time they nurse, others don't Some feel it strongly, others just faintly. But how does a slow let-down affect your baby exactly? You probably already guessed that the answer isn't as straight forward as you'd like.

Since there isn't a way to know exactly how much milk your baby is getting, Kids Spot noted that the let down reflex is one way to make sure your baby is getting enough "hind milk," the fatty, nutrient rich milk that releases after your baby has been nursing for a while (ie. after let down). But if your let down reflex takes while to trigger (or if you don't usually feel it at all), is there any reason to worry?

Probably not, but maybe. See? Not an exact science in any sense of the word.

According to Breast Milk Counts, if you notice a change in your baby's swallowing and sucking, even if you don't feel a strong let down, your baby is getting the milk they need. Furthermore, if your baby generally stops nursing on their own and acts content afterwards, you can trust that they're full.

On the other hand, if your let down reflex is slow, your baby may start to get impatient or fussy, the main way slow let down affects them. According to La Leche League, the common myth that frequent nursing will slow your let down reflex is actually false. The opposite is true: the more you nurse, the higher your supply and (usually) the quicker your let down.

Luckily, there are a few easy tricks to get your milk flowing that should improve the speed of your let down reflex, like nursing in a quiet and relaxing area. But as long as your baby is acting full and content after feedings and you notice a change in their sucking patterns, you can rest assured that a slow let down isn't really slowing your baby down at all.