What Is A Letdown?
Letdowns are a natural and important aspect of adult breastfeeding. They play a crucial role in the process by facilitating the release of milk from a woman's breasts in response to suckling or stimulation. Letdowns not only aid in the establishment of a good latch but also enhance the overall experience for both partners involved.
What Happens During A Letdown?
During a letdown, a complex series of physiological responses occur within a woman's body. When the appropriate triggers, such as suckling or even thoughts related to adult breastfeeding, are present, the brain signals the release of oxytocin, often referred to as the "love hormone." Oxytocin acts on the muscles surrounding the milk ducts and causes them to contract, leading to the ejection of milk from the alveoli into the ducts. This process is accompanied by increased blood flow to the breast tissue, resulting in nipple erection and increased nutrient transfer to the partner.
How Long Do Letdowns Last?
The duration of a letdown can vary, typically lasting between 10 to 20 seconds. However, it is important to note that the frequency and duration of letdowns can differ among individuals and can also be influenced by factors such as milk supply level, suckling pattern, and the unique physiology of the woman. Some women may experience multiple letdowns during a single breastfeeding session, while others may have fewer.
Letdowns are essential for establishing a good latch, which refers to the way a partner's mouth attaches to the breast during adult breastfeeding. A proper latch ensures effective milk transfer and reduces the risk of issues such as nipple pain or blocked ducts. When a letdown occurs, the increased blood flow and milk supply make it easier for the partner to obtain nourishment and maintain a steady flow of milk. This, in turn, promotes a sense of connection and fulfillment for both partners.
Here's a quick video on the topic. (Article assumes child breastfeeding; for adult breastfeeding similar principles apply).
Some couples practice ABF in order to strengthen their relationship. Read for yourself a few ANR testimonials and stories or watch videos of couples practicing adult breastfeeding. (warning:NSFW)
Reach out to others by using our ANR/ABF online communities list page to seek others who are in this lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Inducing Lactation
What are letdowns? What happens during a letdown? How long do they last?
Can I use a TENS Unit to help induce lactation? (warning:NSFW)
Are there health concerns from breastfeeding or letting someone drink my milk?
It's perfectly fine to try another person's breast milk if you know their health history. Breast milk is a body fluid and therefore it's possible to transmit pathogens. The next biggest concern is Mastitis (warning:NSFW) which can be lessened with Lecithin and a proper latch technique (warning:NSFW). The Piercings and Lactation page (warning:NSFW) addresses this concern as well.