What Is a Let-Down in Breastfeeding?

PĒPI Rilyn Lay
ĀMĀ Zoey De Thierry
PHOTOGRAPHY Catherine Smith @catherinesmithphotography

Your let-down is a reflex that makes milk from your breasts available to your pēpi.


When your baby feeds at the breast, they stimulate nerves which send a message to your brain for the let-down reflex to occur. This is where the milk is ‘let down’ and flows through your nipples for your baby to drink. It typically happens around two minutes into breastfeeding. After it occurs, you will hear your baby rhythmically swallowing the flowing milk. Some breastfeeding people can feel their let-down and liken it to a pins and needles type of feeling, while others do not notice it at all. It’s also normal to stop feeling the sensation or for it to feel weaker as your baby grows older.

If you are worried about having a slow let-down, see our advice here and try hand expressing before feeding.