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Thread: Nursing from one breast per feeding?

  1. #1

    Default Nursing from one breast per feeding?

    My LO is 2 weeks old now. She nurses well but seems to really gulp when first put on the breast, sometimes coughs and gasps, pulls off to burp every few minutes, and spits up fairly often. (She's a "happy spitter" so far and already a pound over birthweight at 2 weeks, so I'm not too concerned about that part right now.) I also noticed that she was pretty gassy and having foamy/bubbly stools, though they werestill yellow.
    After a bit of research, I decided to try nursing her from one side per feeding. Like I said, she pulls off often, and she's never been able to "empty" a breast, so it was a bit stressful trying to decide when to switch sides anyway. She seems to be doing better with the single-sided feedings, but I do still have some concerns.
    She nurses every 2-3 hours during the day so I'm worried that going 4- 6 hours between stimulating each breast is going to hurt my supply. Her ped suggested that I may want to pump the side she doesn't nurse from during/after each feeding. Is this necessary to keep my supply up? I don't particulalry care for the idea of pumping all day, or even every day for that matter, but I will if that's what needs to be done. At this point I seem to have more than enough milk, but I would hate to run into supply issues in the future from only stimulating one breast per feeding. At the same time, I'd hate to create an oversupply.
    Does it sound like I may be experiencing an oversupply now? Has anyone only nursed on one side this early on? Did you pump also? If not, did you have supply issues? Is it just a bad idea to be only nursing from one side at this point? Anyone have any experiences or advice they'd like to share? Thanks in advance and sorry for the novel!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Nursing from one breast per feeding?

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    Based on what you've described, I think you're doing the right thing by offering just one breast per feeding. It does sound like you have an oversupply right now, something which is very normal for brand-new moms. Oversupply is nature's way of making 100% sure the new baby gets fed while mastering the tricky art of breastfeeding.

    I don't think you need to pump. Actually, I think that advice is rather silly and counterproductive, because pumping is likely to perpetuate or even worsen the oversupply situation! More demand for milk = more milk supply. The best things a mom can do to manage her milk supply are to watch her baby, watch the baby's diaper output, be flexible, and feed on demand. As long as you do those things, and go back to offering both breasts at a feeding if baby suddenly seems unsatisfied or her diaper output drops below normal, you should be just fine!

    My only hesitation with the one-sided feedings is that your baby is still so young. 2 weeks is a little early to start trying to manage an oversupply. So instead of holding to a hard-and-fast rule of offering just one breast at a feeding, how about sticking to this rule: finish the first breast first. That means that instead of watching the clock and trying to figure out when to switch breasts, you allow the baby to finish the first breast at her own pace, and then, when she's done, you switch her to the other breast for a top-off without worrying whether or not she takes it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Nursing from one breast per feeding?

    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Nursing from one breast per feeding?

    Mommal is right on! She gave me the same advice when I started breastfeeding and discovered I had overactive letdown. Just wanted to tell you that I've been feeding one side since 2 weeks and have had no issues with supply (baby is now 3-months). I did not pump the other side. I would offer the other side if baby looked hungry after finishing the 1st side. This method of breastfeeding really helped me! Also utilizing side-lying position (lying in bed to feed) also helped with the letdown (my baby would cough/gag/pull-off at the breast too). She now prefers the bed to feed and is soo relaxed and happy when we're there...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cleveland, OH

    Default Re: Nursing from one breast per feeding?

    I have responded to a similar post in the past, so I am just going to copy and paste what I wrote last time:

    My son never nursed on both breasts in one feeding.

    I tried to force him by switching when he got into comfort sucking mode, because I was told that by (insert arbitrary age here) he should be nursing on both sides. The end result was always the same: he would suck down a bunch of foremilk on the second breast, spit up all over, then my oversupply would be out of control for a few days. After doing this a few times I decided to forget about what "they" say and only offer one side.

    ETA: of course if baby is still hungry after nursing on one breast then offer the other side, but my son never wanted it.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

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