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Thread: Less milk in 1 breast

  1. #1

    Default Less milk in 1 breast

    I have clogged ducts in my left breast and often feel engorged on that side, so I've been offering that breast first to get relief. Baby falls asleep after 10-12 minutes on the left and rarely takes anything from the right breast. I'm concerned that my milk supply may decrease in my right breast. Should I pump that breast if she does not nurse on that side? Also, baby chokes and spits easily, making me think she's getting too much milk at once when nursing on the left. So, I'm not inclined to force her to nurse on the right. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Less milk in 1 breast

    how long has this been going on? if it's just a few days, then I wouldn't worry about it. If it's going on for a while, then you could pump that side to maintain your supply on that side.

    It kind of sounds like you have an overactive letdown and probably oversupply in the left. Unfortunately, the continued nursing to relieve the ducts doesn't help with either of those, but you have to relieve the plugs. It's one of those tricky balancing acts.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,585

    Default Re: Less milk in 1 breast

    You could pump or hand express on the side baby is not nursing from-if you don't remove the milk regularly, over time I think it could decrease the supply on that side, giving a lopsided feeling, or you could develop plugs in that breast due to not nursing. But pumping is a lot of extra work, so I think getting baby to nurse on both sides more may feel more natural and easier. Babies can nurse in thier sleep, often they can even initiate feeding-latch, in thier sleep. As long as baby is gaining appropriately there is no reason (except you wanting to get up and do something else of course) to take baby off the breast if she has fallen asleep.

    If baby is getting too fast a flow on the left, she may prefer the slower flow side for hanging out and comfort nursing. Even if you have forceful letdown, there is no reason to limit feedings-in fact, limiting feeding can make forceful let down worse, and of course is the worst thing for plugs. So go ahead and offer both breasts, alternate, nurse frequently-at babies earliest cues or whenever you feel like it yourself-you don;t have to wait for a cue from baby, your breasts feeling full or mom just feeling like nursing is a 'cue' as well--you can go by how things feel at the time. This is why we say 'watch your bby, not the clock.' Once you have gotten a handle on the plugs and if you decide you have severe oversupply and want to try block nursing, that is an idea, but you would have to be careful about the plugs.

    more info on plugs: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...plugsblebs.pdf

    and on forceful letdown: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ggrimacing.pdf

    feeding cues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

    You don't say how old baby is. There is an excellent discussion of engorgement in the new The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, engorgement happens for many reasons & esp in the very early days it may happen not matter what mom does, but it also may be a direct result of not nursing frequently enough or baby not nursing effectively enough. If you don't have the book, you could call your local LLL Leader and have her read it to you-basically, you want to keep the milk coming out, don't try to treat engorgement by limiting feedings.

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