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Thread: crazy idea: nurse one side, pump the other?

  1. #1

    Default crazy idea: nurse one side, pump the other?

    So...nursing is going pretty well. DS is growing like a weed--6 weeks and already I'm thinking we might need size 2 dipes. I still have pain in my nipples though, especially the left. I've tried and tried to fix his shallow latch and his chomping due to OALD to no avail. The LC I saw was helpful but she said that he just has a tight mouth (not a tongue tie) and a hard suck and, in gentler terms, basically said he'll grow bigger and I just have to [wo]man-up. We nurse (mostly) comfortably on the right though for some reason. It's the left that is killing me.

    So here's the thing: I will have to go back to work eventually (not til January though) and DH and the LC both say it's time to give a bottle to make sure DS knows how to drink from it when I need to be gone more than a few hours, for work or for social reasons now that he's a bit older. I am also a bit worried about DH. Yesterday he didn't hold the baby at all, and when I tried to get him to hold him after the night feeding he was all, "nah, I'll hold him tomorrow." I'd like him to start giving bottles for bonding reasons.

    So this morning as I was grimacing from the chomping it occurred to me... what if I nurse on the right, as usual, and pump the left and give bottles at the feedings he'd have normally nursed on the left? I might even increase the number of right-side nursings from 3-4 to, say, 5 and give 2-3 bottles. And if it doesn't work, I'd go back to what we've been doing (block nursing R, R, L, L per the LC's advice).

    I was an EP-er for nearly 7 months with DD, so I have no problem responding to a pump. And if we're out and about I'd just nurse on the left side rather than pack bottles. But day-to-day, can I do this? Is there some reason this would be a bad idea?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: crazy idea: nurse one side, pump the other?

    Are you talking about not nursing on the left side at all? Only pumping the left side? I think that it would be a pain in the rear, quite honestly. And your left side would be getting less stimulation and start making less milk. Maybe that's ok, maybe not. How is your oversupply situation? How long have you been block nursing?

    I wouldn't personally do this, because I wouldn't want to give my baby a bottle. Both of my babies got plenty of bottles when they went to the babysitter, I sure didn't want to bother with pumping and bottles when I was with them.

    As for your husband - maybe pump once a day and have him feed the bottle? You could get a little time to yourself that way. Do you think he is feeling insecure about the baby? Do you "help" him when he is taking care of the baby. I don't think that dads NEED to feed bottles for bonding, but you do need to get the baby used to the bottle and it sounds like DH needs a little help with taking care of the baby. I think I would do that, for sure.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Nashville, TN

    Default Re: crazy idea: nurse one side, pump the other?

    While I'm still on mat leave, once a day in the morning as I'm building emergency stash, I nurse one side and pump the other, but I DO switch those back and forth. It can be helpful if one side is a little tender to give it a 'rest', but I don't love the pump that much more. I don't think I'd stick with baby on one side and pump on the other consistently out of concern that I might incite a supply issue. Babies and pumps don't express milk identically and my observation is that our bodies do respond to the babies themselves. Ever had your breasts start to weep at the sound of your baby crying? Trippy!
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: crazy idea: nurse one side, pump the other?

    I had to do this for awhile because my babes can't get the milk out of my right breast until they are 6-7 wks old. DD2 is now 10 weeks, but until she was 6 or so weeks old, she nursed the left side and I pumped the right and gave it to her in bottles or via feeding tube. I personally feel that my supply is now less on the right side because of that, but it might not have that effect on everyone. Good luck whatever you decide!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: crazy idea: nurse one side, pump the other?

    I have a better idea. If you are nursing on one side with no pain it's likely that that is your baby's "Good side". Which means that position you put him in to get him to feed on that side is the position HE works/nurses best in. And when you put him on the other side, you are literally putting him the exact OPPOSITE position. So the trick is to leave him in the same position when moving him to the other side. So to help you visualize this, do you have a nursing pillow? (If you don't you can just use a big pillow to do this experiment) anyway say you are nursing him on your right side in cradle. When you are done rather than flip the baby to the left side, move the entire baby on the pillow, so that his MOUTH and position are still in the SAME position on your left side. In this case, it would land you on the left side in foot ball or some position close. Does that make sense? So you would just unlatch the baby and then leave him in the position he is in and move the entire pillow so that in that position that he is in he is now feeding at the other breast.
    At 6weeks I would feel comfortable with you pumping once in the morning (when most women get the most yield in the least amount of time) so that your DH could have a bottle to feed him every night. I did that with my son and husband. And not only did it give them a chance to bond, but it also gave me some much needed FREEDOM every night. Which was nice!

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: crazy idea: nurse one side, pump the other?

    i agree with djsmom.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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