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Thread: no let down on one side

  1. #1

    Default no let down on one side

    My son is 8 months old. I've wondered for a little while if he got any milk from my right side whenever I start on my left. I hear a good suck swallow, suck swallow on the left, then don't hear it on the right. When I start on my right side, I hear the good suck swallow on both sides, so I know he's getting milk from each side. When I went to a lactation place the other day to weigh him before and after a feeding, they said that he only got one oz from me, and I started on the left side. So, I think my suspicions are right. I am working to build up my spoke at the moment. I'm thinking about just always starting on the right side. Is it really all that bad to start on the same side all the time? I know they say to rotate. Anyone else gone through something similar?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: no let down on one side

    Its common to have one side that produces more than the other or has a more forceful letdown. I wouldn't really worry about it unless it was causing a notable lopsided look. What exactly has you concerned about low supply? What have you done to boost it?

  3. #3

    Default Re: no let down on one side

    My baby's not gaining that much weight. I'm having to supplement with formula right now, but I'm hoping that I can boost my supply and get away from that. I'm pumping/feeding more to try to boost it. I always try to drink lots of water.

  4. #4

    Default Re: no let down on one side

    I had a similar issue as well. My baby is now 6 mos old, and I noticed around the 2 mo. mark that my baby would spend less and less time on the left side either when starting or finishing. When I started to pump, I noticed that I would get almost all my milk from the right side and very little from the left. I think this was caused by a natural preference for the right side since the supply is so much better. It got to be a problem for me because the right side would get engorged and I would have no fullness on the left side.

    To pick up supply on the left side, I was told by an LC to pump the left side after a feeding even if I was pumping dry. I've also been starting feedings on the left side at every feeding now for the past 4 months, and this has helped even things out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: no let down on one side

    It is normal for a baby's weight gain rate to slow considerably sometime after about 5 or 6 months. Was your baby's doctor concerned with baby's weight gain? Was the formula supplements suggested by the doctor? How long has weight gain been a concern? Have you started solids?

    It's important because supplemental bottles (and/or eating lots of solids) might harm milk production.

    Also, while it is important to stay well hydrated, excess water consumption is no longer believed to help milk production. Now mothers are told to “drink to thirst.” But there are some foods (oatmeal, barley) and herbs you can consider trying if you like. Of course, pumping and nursing a lot as you are doing is most important step for increasing low production.

    Here are some articles on the issue of lp you may find helpful: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...es/low-supply/ and http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastf..._galactagogue/

  6. #6

    Default Re: no let down on one side

    Yes, my baby's Dr was getting concerned about his weight, and told me to supplement. I just read today that supplementing can lower the milk supply. Today, every time I've pumped, I've only gotten out an oz or less, which I had been getting more... Now I worried I'm digging myself into a hole, and am not sure what to do...we do solid foods with him. He gets about 4 oz of baby food 3 times a day.
    Last edited by @llli*ladysteele83; June 29th, 2013 at 02:39 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: no let down on one side

    I don't know why it put that happy face in there. Didn't mean to.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: no let down on one side

    It's ok I always mess up those icons.

    So, pump output could be down for reasons other than production. So you might want to troubleshoot your pump. Change membranes, check tubing-you pump's manufacturer may have troubleshooting tips.

    Yes, it CAN be harder to maintain production when supplementing. But you have been pumping, so that is going to help a lot of course. But there is also the question of why baby was not gaining in the first place. A mother’s milk production is only one of several possible reasons a baby might stop gaining appropriately. Were other possibilities considered? (poor milk transfer, baby not nursing often enough, too rapid introduction of/overfeeding of solids?)- and those are just the breastfeeding related possibilities. There are also vitamin deficiencies that cause a loss of appetite and other health issues that cause poor gain.

    As far as the supplementing...Did you agree that something seemed off in baby’s growth? Did baby appear hungry to you, past what you could provide? Was baby’s appetite for breastmilk 'normal? (meaning, was baby eager to nurse several times a day or night and content afterwards, generally speaking?) Was the concern all over growth or only weight gain? What specifically was the issue with the weight gain? (is baby 'falling off his curve" or was there no gain between two appts or???

    When did you start supplementing? Were you given instructions specifically on how much and/or when to supplement? Was there a weight gain goal your doctor wants you to aim for, at which point you can stop supplementing?

    Have solids been introduced? were the weight gain concerns there prior to starting solids?

    How much does baby nurse every day, how much is baby getting in supplements, and how much in solids-every day?

  9. #9

    Default Re: no let down on one side

    He's always been a small baby. Weight wise, he was gaining, but was getting lower and lower on the curve. Dr hadn't been worried about it until his last weigh in almost 2 weeks ago. I was starting to worry about his weight gain as well. His height and head have been better on growth, which is why the dr wasn't worried about weight for a while. But his height was starting to drop too. The Dr wanted me to give him an extra 2 oz of formula after every feeding. I've been doing 6 feedings a day, also pumping 3 other times throughout the day. We've been doing 3 oz of formula mixed with my milk after the feeding, and he has been eating it most of the time. He will at least eat 2 oz. We do 4 oz of baby food 3 times a day. He's never really seemed to hungry, but would always eat if offered. He always would seem content after feeding. Before starting to supplement, he was waking up one during the night, and I would feed him. He stopped doing that as often after starting to supplement. Does that all help?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: no let down on one side

    yes, it does. So you have only been supplementing with formula for two weeks? and baby gets about 12 ounces of formula a day. So if your supply WAS lowered somewhat by supplementing, it is not very far along, is it? So if there IS a hole, its not very deep!

    And when does your doctor want to weigh baby again to see if this intervention of formula supplements is helping?

    Have you considered adding additional nursing sessions instead of formula, or with the formula (maybe less formula?) Was this something you discussed with your doctor? It’s not that nursing 6 times a day at 8 months is low, necessarily. But 10 nursing sessions a day would also be perfectly normal at this age. If a baby is not gaining well and it is suspected this is because baby is not getting enough breastmilk, the first course of action would be, some would say, to try to increase how much milk baby gets, and the easiest way to doing that is to offer to nurse more often. (BTW, Why do you pump 3 times a day-is that new, due to the supplementing? A way to increase supply? For separations?)

    Anyway here is what I am thinking. 12 ounces of formula a day, Plus baby is getting 12 ounces of baby food a day. That is 24 ounces. That is quite a lot of supplemental (not breastmilk) ounces going into baby every day. The formula, while of course not teh perfect food breastmilk is, IS high in fat and calories, because it is made to be as much like breastmilk as a manufactured product can be. But baby food seldom comes close in terms of fat and calories. It depends what you are giving baby but it is hard to give a baby solids that would equal breastmilk OR formula for fat and calories. This does not mean do not introduce solids, not at all. Solids should be introduced after 6 months at the point baby shows readiness signs. But it does mean, it is often important to introduce solids in such a way that they do not ‘spoil’ baby’s appetite for nursing. So, slowly, experimentally, not as a replacement for nursing.

    So anyway, if this were me, the question I would be trying to figure out with my doctor is- here I have a contented baby that is not growing as fast as baby should according to the charts. Why?

    Does baby have a nutritional deficiancy-maybe low iron or low B12, perhaps causing poor appetite?
    Does baby have a food allergy, causing poor gain?
    Is baby an “easy” or baby who would nurse more if offered more, but is not going to obviously cue more?
    Is baby filling up on lower calorie solids?
    Do I have low milk production?
    Is baby’s growth fine, just on the slow side?

    My point is, formula supplements may well treat the symptom of low weight gain. Baby may gain faster, because now he is getting lots of formula on top of what he is still getting at the breast. But why is a baby who is being fed the food that is biologically perfect for him, not gaining well? That question lingers.

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