Letdown, also known as milk ejection reflex, is the process by which milk is released from the breast during breastfeeding. For some women, letdown can be accompanied by discomfort or pain.
There are several potential reasons why letdown may be painful. One reason is that the milk ducts may be blocked or clogged, preventing milk from flowing freely. This can cause a sensation of fullness or pressure in the breast, which can be painful.
Another reason why letdown may be painful is if the baby is not positioned correctly at the breast. If the baby is not properly latched onto the breast, it can cause discomfort or pain as the milk is being released.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding can also affect the sensitivity of the breast and cause pain during letdown. Some women may experience increased sensitivity or tenderness in the breasts due to hormonal fluctuations, which can make letdown painful.
In some cases, letdown pain may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as mastitis, an inflammation of the breast tissue. Mastitis can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness in the breast and may require treatment with antibiotics.
If you are experiencing pain during letdown, there are several steps you can try to alleviate the discomfort. These may include ensuring that the baby is properly positioned and latched onto the breast, expressing milk manually or with a breast pump to relieve pressure, and applying warmth to the breast before breastfeeding. If the pain persists or is severe, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.
In conclusion, letdown may be accompanied by discomfort or pain due to factors such as blocked milk ducts, incorrect breastfeeding position, hormonal changes, or underlying medical conditions. If you are experiencing pain during letdown, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.