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Thread: Nursing one side at a time

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default Nursing one side at a time

    Hi all,
    My DD (2mo) has mostly nursed only one side at a time since birth. I was told that this is fine, but now that she is starting to go longer b/w feeds I wonder if it will affect my milk supply. Is this something I should worry about? I do really try to get her to "empty" each side well, but the other side is always so full by the time she gets to it. I also always try to get her to do the other side as well but she is just not interested. Thanks for any advice/wisdom you can give me!
    married to Ben 05/01/2004
    mama to 3 blessings:
    Ezra 03/01/2006
    Olivia 11/07/2008
    Eden 05/02/2012

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Nursing one side at a time

    I nursed from one side per feeding.
    if one side felt heavy with milk I did try to entice the baby to nurse until breast felt less achy.
    even though some days my LO nursed less often, she made up for it in a day or two by nursing more often.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,600

    Default Re: Nursing one side at a time

    It's fine so long as baby is having good diaper output and growing appropriately. Just don't be surprised if your baby eventually transitions to requiring both breasts at a feeding. Usually after a mom has been nursing for a while, her supply adjusts so that mom is making just enough milk, and when that adjustment happens a lot of babies start nursing on both breasts even if they required only one for a good long time.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Nursing one side at a time

    Thanks for your replies. (esthervegan, my name is esther too. )
    I don't really worry if she is getting enough right now, I guess I am more concerned with what will happen over time. But I guess what you are both saying is that if she needs more, she will take more? Between feedings, the one side that wasn't just nursed on gets very full and sometimes uncomfortable. At two months, do you think my milk supply is still being figured out?
    married to Ben 05/01/2004
    mama to 3 blessings:
    Ezra 03/01/2006
    Olivia 11/07/2008
    Eden 05/02/2012

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: Nursing one side at a time

    As long as you nurse on demand, your supply will eventually level off to your baby's needs whether she is nursing on one breast at a time or both. If one is no longer enough, then she will take the other. I nursed on only one side for about 7 months, at which point my son started taking both sides. He gained a lot of weight throughout his infancy, and I have never had any problems with low supply.

    It is really variable how long the discomfort can last. It resolves pretty quickly for some mamas, it takes much longer for others. I had really painful engorgement for about 3 months. It improved after that, but I still had an oversupply until sometime around 6 months (although it wasn't as problematic after 3 months). But that's just me; everyone is different.

    The best thing to do is to stay the course and nurse on demand. You can continue to offer the other breast to see if your baby will take it, but she might not and that's okay. The full feeling will eventually go away (and that is not a bad thing - it means that your body is matching your baby's needs). I used cold compresses when the engorgement was unbearably painful. Cabbage leaves are supposed to work well too.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nursing one side at a time

    But I guess what you are both saying is that if she needs more, she will take more?
    Generally yes, which is why cue feeding (vs. Scheduling) remains so important even past the brand newborn stage.
    Between feedings, the one side that wasn't just nursed on gets very full and sometimes uncomfortable.
    I agree with pp, when really full, no harm in offering to see if baby is interested. (never any harm in offering anytime actually.) If baby is not interested, you can try hand expressing just to relieve the pressure-this is called expressing “to comfort, “ and may be a good idea during transitions like this to avoid engorgement and possible plugged ducts. If hand expression does not work for you, pumping just to comfort can be considered but be careful especially with pumping as that can increase production beyond what you need which you do not want.
    At two months, do you think my milk supply is still being figured out?
    yes everyone’s milk production regulates at different times based on many factors. This is normal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Nursing one side at a time

    Very helpful, thanks! She is quite a content baby and different than my other two in that she will not nurse unless she is good and ready. But at 2 months she is about 14lb so I can be assured that she is gaining well. With my 2nd baby I had mastitis 3 times, so I guess I am afraid of it happening again. I will try the hand expressing to relieve some of the engorgement.
    married to Ben 05/01/2004
    mama to 3 blessings:
    Ezra 03/01/2006
    Olivia 11/07/2008
    Eden 05/02/2012

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