Let-down pain

What does let-down pain feel like?

Let-down pain is normal and means the let-down reflex is working well. It is a sign of a good milk supply. It is cramp-like, building and then decreasing and lasting less than a minute. Some normal mothers never feel the let-down. Mothers who have a large supply or are within the first month of delivery are more likely to have a painful let-down. Mothers can ease the pain with mild to moderate pressure on the breasts. The pain decreases with time as the milk supply matches the baby’s needs and as the breasts get used to making milk. In rare cases, it brings bad feelings such as sadness.

A) Describing let-down pain

Let-down pain is cramp-like: it builds and then decreases. The pain lasts less than one minute.

Mild to moderate let-down pain is normal within the first few weeks after delivery and means that the let-down reflex is working well. It is often a sign of a good milk supply. Let-down pain fades over time as the milk supply matches the baby’s needs and as the breasts get used to making milk. 

Mothers may feel their let-down more sharply and for longer periods if they have a large milk supply. However, this too will fade over time.

In rare cases, mothers feel sadness or have other negative emotions with the let-down.

B) Treatment

Mothers can ease the pain of the let-down with mild to moderate pressure on the breasts. This can be done with the hands pressing on the breasts or with the forearms crossed in front of the breasts until the pain settles. This will not damage the breasts or cause plugged ducts.

Let-down pain decreases with time as the milk supply matches the baby’s needs and as the breasts get used to making milk. This is normal and not a sign of a mother’s milk supply decreasing