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Thread: Baby refusing to nurse on one side

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Baby refusing to nurse on one side

    My almost 4 month old is refusing to nurse on the left side. I have had to do some hand expressing, just to get rid of some of engorgement. When I hand express from the left side, which is the side he refuses, there are like 7 to 10 streams of milk that come out. On the right side, I only have 4 to 5 streams of milk. Could it be that the milk is coming out too fast for him to nurse comfortably? I've tried all different positions, but he still cries when I put him to my left breast. Is there anything I can do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    183

    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse on one side

    It might be the flow is too fast at letdown? Have you tried offering after you hand express a bit?
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse on one side

    Yesterday I had to pump, because he had refused the left side all day, and I pumped 4 oz in less than 5 min. He wanted to nurse about 2 hrs later and latched onto that side and ate great. Since last night, he's only nursed a total of 10 min on that side. He takes the right side fine, but will not take the left, even after I've expressed some. I even pop him off during let down so he doesn't choke. I'm wondering if I'll just have to continue to pump on that side and let him nurse on only the right? He nurses one side per feeding.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    183

    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse on one side

    Is it all of a sudden that this happened? Will he nurse on that side in an upright position?

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/lopsided.html

    "If baby suddenly begins to refuse one side, it could be caused by an ear infection or other illness in baby (making nursing painful or uncomfortable on that side), an injury to baby (or something else, such as a sore immunization site) that makes nursing painful in that position, or a breast infection in that breast (which can make the milk taste salty). Many babies who refuse one side do so because mom has a much faster or slower letdown on one side (baby might prefer either the faster or slower flow). If all other possible causes are ruled out and baby continues to refuse one side, then consider seeing your doctor just to rule out any breast problems"
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,259

    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse on one side

    If its forceful letdown making baby unhappy with that one side, keep working on strategies to improve that. Up hill nursing is a good one. Also I agree with pp about changing positions. Even if its not a earache or the like, if a baby is getting an aversion to one side for any reason, switching positions up may get him Ok on the side again.

    Certainly you could pump on one side and nurse on the other but that seems like alot of trouble if there is a way to get baby to take that side again.

    some forceful letdown tips: http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ggrimacing.pdf

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    24

    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse on one side

    Thanks so much for the suggestions. Unfortunately, I have tried them all and nothing is helping. It is getting to be such a stressful thing, I don't know what to do. I've had his ears checked and their fine, but it seems like there is just too much for him to nurse comfortably. I'll just keep offering, I guess.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    183

    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse on one side

    One last thought, have you tried offering that side when baby is asleep / half asleep? I know that sometimes works to end nursing strikes...
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse on one side

    My baby is doing thE same thing. I've been EBF my baby for 15 weeks. I always feed her one side per session. This weekend all of the sudden she is refussing to take my left breast, she
    fusses and cry until I have to swith her to the right side. I dont know what the problem may be. I produce more milk from the right side but this was never an issue. Please help, my plan is to EBF for one year!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    183

    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse on one side

    Try nursing upright positions? Or do compressions on the left breast.. You could also take the edge off her hunger by using right side, then see if switching to left will work. Did you check out that link above?
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse on one side

    I've tried everything, and he still won't take the left side. I've expressed from that side, then offered, but he just screams. I've tried starting on the right, then switching, and he screams. He hasn't nursed for longer than about two minutes today, because he gets so frustrated. I'm ready to just let him have a bottle, because it's stressing me out.

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