Oxytocin – the love hormone is that contribute to Letdown Reflex. If a mother prolactin level is enough, but Oxytocin level is low that causing difficulty in Letdown, then she might not be able to express out her breast milk to her baby.
Milk let down is the term applied to the release of milk into the mother’s breast ducts in response to the baby’s suckling or suckling stimulation. At birth, milk is secreted into the breast alveoli. Suckling stimulates the passage of sensory impulses into the hypothalamus, which orders the posterior pituitary gland to release the hormone oxytocin into the bloodstream. Cells surrounding the outer walls of the alveoli are stimulated to contract, ejecting milk into the ducts. Thirty seconds after the suckling, milk flows into the reservoirs, or is let down.
Regardless of the methods – Direct feed, Pumping, Hand-Expression and so on. When the Oxytocin level is down, without Reflex her breast milk can’t flow out easily. Thus, a mother should try her best to stable her emotion and not to get annoy easily. Grabbing opportunity to have good rest is important. We encourage husband to help up during baby nursing period, as his wife will have enough rest to gain more Oxytocin. Moreover, husband support is very important in encouraging his wife to giving breast milk to their lovely baby.
One important observation that we have is — Mother who strictly opt for direct feed without expressing out the remaining will normally have lower breast milk supply. For the mother who has too much supply will turn into not sufficient supply, when the breast is not always empty and plugged duct will exist, eventually breast milk supply will be reduced. When the supply is not sufficient, baby will tend to drink more often or longer duration up to 45 minutes or 1 hour, and mother will get stressed up.
In the end Oxytocin level low, reflex getting difficult, breast milk flow slow and little, baby keep hungry, less rest or sleep, prolactin level starts descending, Plugged Ducts occurs —- and the whole circle repeats scenario getting worse.
Thus getting enough rest and having a stable emotion is very important. There is no 1 method suit all mothers, we need to look for a breastfeeding method that suits our lifestyle which allows us to have enough breast milk to feed our babies meanwhile having enough rest. That’s ENJOYING BREASTFEED