Has this happened to you?
Later into your breastfeeding journey, you may notice it takes longer to trigger a let-down. This is common both with a baby at breast and with long-term pumping. What worked early on may change over time.
First, rule out some possible culprits:
- Are your pump parts worn and need to be replaced? Any kinks or tears in your tubing? Has the suction on your pump been compromised?
- Are you about to start your period or are you possibly pregnant? Both can decrease milk production which may impact let-downs.
- Did you recently start taking a new hormonal birth control? There are reports of hormonal BC impacting supply.
- Are you tense, in pain, cold, fatigued, or anxious? These factors may block the neurochemical pathways required for milk let-downs.
Some women report improved results later in lactation after they change to a different pump or use a different flange that fits the breast better. Flange fit can change over time and nipples may become more elastic over time.
Have you tried a different pump to compare? Or tried using heat, breast massage/compressions, or vibrations to prompt milk flow? What works best for you to trigger/stimulate letdowns?