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Thread: nursing on one side

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    11

    Default nursing on one side

    My baby is pretty fussy. Its not a matter of picking up on feeding cues late because i could offer to her for an hour and she'll just alternate between sleeping and crying.

    We're very comfortable with nursing on the left side, but having difficulty on the right. My nipples are different. Aside from a poor latch on the right, I think that's the real problem. The right side has is cracked and scabbed and bleeds. I use a nipple shield which helped a lot, but have still bled since using it. I have been trying to use the breast anyway and just correct the latch, but my baby is either sleeping or fussing. So she'll either not open her mouth at all, or she'll have it open while throwing her arms around and screaming. I got a great latch yesterday but by a fluke. I've been trying since then and I just get so incredibly frustrated, I end up crying and just putting her on the left side because I feel she needs to be fed.

    Now, my left breast is definitely larger and producing more milk.

    I don't have a pump yet but I should be getting one this week.

    My baby is only 2 weeks old. Am I establishing my milk supply the wrong way? Can it be corrected when I get my pump or when my nipple heals?

    It's making me so sad, frustrated and I worry constantly. Especially because there's practically no in between from crying and sleeping for my baby. It makes me feel like I'm doing this wrong. Heeeelpp

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: nursing on one side

    Your baby sounds like a typical newborn! They sleep and when they wakes up they act as tho they are STARVING. It's typical for latch to be different on different sides no two nipples are exactly the same.

    Have you looked into 'wet healing' for your nipple? Basically it allows the wound to heal in a moist environment so no scab forms and therefore there's no scab to come off during a feed re - opening the wound.

    I would say feed off it if you can, if not then hand express until you get a pump and then pump. You can up your supply in that side at a later date if you need to but equally if you can keep some supply at least it'll be easier in the long run. Plus you don't want a plugged duct/mastitis as well as a nipple wound.

    Definitely keep working on latch do it doesn't happen again. Common tips to deepen latch include the flipple/nipple tilt,breast sandwich and breast compressions. You can you tube these or I can add links later or try to describe them for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    22,111

    Default Re: nursing on one side

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    First, please go easy on yourself. You are not doing anything wrong. Nursing is natural but that doesn't mean it's easy, especially at first!!! After all, things like childbirth and running long distances and climbing mountains are also natural, but we don't expect them to be easy, right? Right.

    It's fine not to have a pump at this point. In fact, it is advised that moms avoid pumping for the first few weeks unless there is a specific problem. Breastfeeding usually goes best when mom and baby nurse exclusively, giving themselves some time to come into harmony before introducing pumping into the nursing relationship.

    Nursing primarily on the left side will not harm you or your baby. One breast can produce enough milk for a baby- that's how moms of twins and even triplets are able to nurse. If you nurse more on the left, it's going to produce more milk and probably be larger than the right, but that's not a terrible problem. Most moms find that they have one breast that is an overachiever, and one that it a little more laid back. You can correct this situation if you give more stimulation to the right side, by removing more milk from it, either via baby or via pumping. But you actually do not need to correct lopsided production unless you personally find it unpleasant, for example if it's causing visible differences in breast size.

    I'd love for you to get in touch with a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for some help with positioning. The fact that you're cracked on the right makes me think you'd benefit from hands-on help.

    Some questions for you:
    - When you nurse, what positions have you tried?
    - Have you tried swaddling your baby at the breast?
    - How has your baby's weight gain and díaper output been?
    - Has baby been checked for tongue and lip ties?
    - Is the nipple on the right side flatter or perhaps inverted, compared to the untracked side on the left?
    - When your baby unlatches from the right, what shape is the nipple? Is it symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/wedged/creased/shaped like a new lipstick?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: nursing on one side

    Thank you for responding! I was blissfully ignorant while pregnant, totally not anticipating all these problems despite. classes

    I did see a lactation consultant and she helped me a lot, but obviously extra help may be necessary.

    To answer your questions:
    -i did the football hold on the left side and when i did that for the right it caused the crack and bleeding so i switched to cradle for the right and was more successful.
    -i definitely swaddle her to keep her arms constrained which helps sometimes but oftentimes it puts her literally right to sleep.
    -So far, the diaper output has been fine. I think like 5 poopy diapers and at least 5/6 wet yesterday. At first, she lost 10% body weight within 4 days. but by a week after that, she had gained 10 oz in four days and the doctor said she gained more than the average baby. But i havent had her at the ped for a weight check since the 20th. im mostly concerned about her weight because in the past few days i stopped being regimented about her schedule because it was exhausting me to fight against her schedule. Ive been loosely paying attention to time and really going by her demand but im not sure that she really aware of how much she needs lol.
    -Baby has a tongue tie but the consultant and a nurse both said it doesnt seem to be affecting her ability to move her tongue at all.
    -The nipple on the right is much flatter, i dont believe its inverted though.
    -the shape of the nipple is symmetrical, bit thats because of the nipple shield. On the left, when she unlatched it looked like a tube of lipstick but because of the nipple shield thats not an issue anymore. The lactation consultant said i needed a deeper latch, its just been difficult for me to acheive. Stroking my babys lip with the nipple actually has the opposite effect that im looking for; shes purses her lips tightly, or she just barely opens her mouth. Then she gets frustrated that shes opened her oiuth and im not feeding her, so she starts crying. You would think that would be a good opportunity to put the nipple in but im honestly scared. now thats im scared that just makes it worse too. Its like i have a mental block about putting her on the right side now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: nursing on one side

    Thank God... i wasnt sure if she was actually starving or what. But its relieving to know thats normal behavior.

    I havent looked into wet healing but i wear pads in my bra because i leak so much and the breastmilk causing the scab to soften and fall off. I am supposed to get jack newmans nipple cream today.

    Im trying to feed off it because i hate being so lopsided and its making my left nipple more sore than it has to be, but because im so picky about the latch o the right side i rarely get her on there and give in and just put her on the left to get her fed. Ill youtubee your suggestions though, thank you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: nursing on one side

    A tongue tie is a pretty common reason for latch issues and nipple damage. I would seek a third opinion on whether it needs revising or re discuss it with the IBCLC in relation to the fact you are getting nipple damage.

    I know getting TT revised isn't without potential complications etc but if it is going to allow pain free, shield free feeding it's worth considering.

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