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Thread: Baby only latching on to one side regularly. Advice??

  1. #1

    Default Baby only latching on to one side regularly. Advice??

    My 8 day old will only latch on to my left breast on a regular basis. I always offer my right breast first but she will only latch on occassionally. When I offer my left breast she latches on almost immediately every time. What can I do to help get her to latch on to my right side???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Baby only latching on to one side regularly. Advice??

    Welcome to the forum!

    Sometimes babies don't like being held a certain way. If this is the problem, try maintaining the baby's preferred position when putting her on the right breast.

    You might also want to try the instant reward technique- express a little milk onto the right nipple before latching baby on. The taste of milk may inspire her to latch on and nurse.

    Lots of skin-to-skin contact may help, as well. Spend lots of time cuddling and nursing in a relaxed way.

    If none of the above works, consider getting hands on help from a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, and maybe think about using a nipple shield. Sometimes there's a difference in shape or size of the nipple on one side, and a shield can help with that. However there are risks to using a shield, so I suggest using one only with guidance from a LC.

    How is nursing going aside from the breast preference? Is nursing painful, is the baby having adequate wet and poopy diapers, are you pumping at all?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Baby only latching on to one side regularly. Advice??

    Like the PP said, it could be positioning. Maybe she only likes to lay on one side? You could try the "football hold," so baby is still laying on her preferred side while nursing the other breast.

    I'm Erin, wife to a wonderful husband, and first time mother of Baby Will - 05/13/2012

    "Keep calm and latch on!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Baby only latching on to one side regularly. Advice??

    Sometimes one breast doesn't letdown in a way baby likes either. I had two lumpectomies on my right breast. Two of my babies hated to nurse from that side becasue it let down very slowly and has about 1/8 the production of the other side and both weaned themselves from that side pretty early. One preferred it because he didn't get drowned in milk and I could take the edge off his hunger before switching him to my fuller side.
    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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Baby only latching on to one side regularly. Advice??

    I'm having the same situation - my son (now 4) never liked the left side and neither does my daughter (now 7 weeks). It's not positional, it's not a funny shaped nipple, nothing like that. That side just doesn't let down as fast and only gives a small fraction of what the right side does. She ONLY nurses there at night when she's sleepy and doesn't mind the slower pace.

    When I talked to my LC about it she reassured me that even if she refused that side altogether, righty would pick up the slack. She said one breast can feed twins! I decided to relax about it and not push the issue with the babe.

    Hope that helps! Good luck!
    Mama to
    O - July 2008
    J - June 2012

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