Presentation Information

Briana Tillman

What a Letdown: Exploring the Physiology of the Milk Ejection Reflex

Abstract:

New mothers experience the milk ejection reflex, or “letdown,” in various ways. While some feel no physical symptoms, others experience a tingling sensation and some even have significant pain or sadness. Babies also have different experiences, from the overactive “drink from the firehose” to frustratingly long waiting at feeding time. This presentation explores the multitude of influences on letdown, from internal hormones and chemical signaling pathways to the research related to such external influences as diet, alcohol, stress, and the use of synthetic oxytocin.

Many moms believe that they either do not produce sufficient milk or need a quicker, more effective letdown. Suggestions to deal with these issues range from drinking beer to adding different nutritional supplements to the diet, from hypnosis to oxytocin nasal spray. We will explore the research and unravel the best practices and recommendations we can give to clients related to their concerns about the milk ejection reflex.