When your baby begins to feed, this will signal to your body to release the hormone oxytocin, which then promotes the release of milk stored in your milk ducts. This is called ‘letdown’. Usually at this point, the pace of the milk will pick up and your baby will find a natural suckling rhythm.

If you’re using a pump, the letdown will occur as your nipples become stimulated, mimicking a baby's latch and suck.

Usually letdown occurs within the first minute or so during a breastfeed, however sometimes it will occur before the baby actually starts to feed. If you hear your baby cry, or you’re looking at adorable photos of them, rocking them, or just heading towards them in preparation for a feed, the intense power of oxytocin can trigger the body’s natural reflex to release milk.

If you find the letdown is occurring prior to your baby latching onto the breast, breast pads or an absorbent bra can help keep you dry. If you find that when the baby latches to one side, and the other side starts to leak, you can catch this milk with collectors and feed it to your baby later.

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