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Thread: Favorite Side?

  1. #1

    Default Favorite Side?

    I am a first time mom with a 10 day old son. We got off to a pretty good start nursing. My left nipple doesn't seem to protrude as much as my right, even with a little stimulation. The lactation RN at the hospital said it wasn't inverted. This has led my son to prefer the right side more. He will spend less time on the left, not suck as vigorously on the left, and not stay awake and alert on the left, like he does on the right. After my milk came in, there was a large size difference between L and R. I have been using a hand pump for a minute before he feeds on the left in order to draw it out a little more. This gets him to latch easily, but still the overall nursing time on L and R is dramatically different. I sometimes pump with my hand pump on the Left if he doesn't have a good feeding.

    Any tips for getting him to latch better on this side? Should I be worried about my supply on the left? Should I keep pumping? Other thoughts and tips?

    Also, if my son feeds for more than 30 minutes on one side and seems sleepy, should I stop him or let him keep going? One feed lasted 45 minutes on one side the other day. Not sure if he is getting anything after 30 minutes or so?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Favorite Side?

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum! Asymmetry is common, and is not a problem in and of itself (other than a cosmetic one due to the lopsidedness), assuming everything else is okay. How has baby's weight gain been? Is latch painful on either side?

    If you do want to even out the breasts, you can try starting him out on the left side. Some mothers find baby may be a bit fussy on the non-preferred breast, but this may decrease over time if supply increases on that side. I don't think you need to pump to stimulate supply per se on the left, (again, assuming weight gain and poopy diapers are good, indicating good overall supply) but it sounds like the one minute of pumping is helping latch on. You may find he latches more easily as he grows, so you can experiment with how well he latches without the pre-pumping, but it sounds like for now you've found a good solution for getting him to latch on that side.

    There's no harm in a baby feeding 45 minutes and that's very common for young babies! Baby sleeping on the breast is also common too. You can try to wake baby up by switching to the other side or using some of the waking baby techniques described here: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...py_newborn.pdf.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    540

    Default Re: Favorite Side?

    Are you overly bothered by the difference in size? That's really the only problem with only nursing on one side. If you are, the either start on that side first all the time or pump to keep your supply up in it. Ds went back and forth with his side preferences, one month he liked R, next he only wanted L. I just kept offering.

    Nursing is many things besides just nutrition. Unless the long feeds were causing you to be sore, I wouldn't cut off a nursing session. It's early days and baby is doing his best to build up your supply. Your breasts are never truly empty and sometimes you can get a second letdown after even an hour. There's also nothing wrong with comfort nursing and falling asleep at the breast. It's what babies are biologically programmed to do. Be held by someone, preferably mom, for safety and security and suck a lot to get that nice full tummy feeling. Safe and full= sleepy. http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Favorite Side?

    Hi there. My 4 week old also prefers the right, because the left one is too soft and he doesn't really "register" it as a nipple/something to suck on.

    I have had some success with a nipple shield, but I wouldn't suggest trying one without a board certified lactation consultant. Apparently they can become more of a problem than a cure for some women as baby can develop a preference for them and they slow down flow quite a bit. But for some women they help a lot. In my case they helped and baby decided he was done with it rather than the other way around.

    What I do is just pump the side he doesn't take after a feeding or two. I may be erring on the side of caution, but it helps because if he doesn't drain a breast it starts to feel a bit engorged. This can be rough if baby wants to be held all the time, but I find it really helps if you can find time. Like I'm doing right now!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Favorite Side?

    Thanks for all the suggestions! After I wrote yesterday, I tried the football hold and magically he's latched on the left every time no problem since I did this. He is also a little more awake and vigorous on the left with this position. I hope this "cure" continues! I do seem to have a good supply overall, he is peeing and pooping as normal. We will go to the Dr in a few days for another check up and get his weight then. IMO he looks like his cheeks are filling out a bit, so I hope that's a good sign of weight gain. Latch isn't painful, and nipples aren't sore either. I am relieved to not feel like I have to pump- it's too early for that!

    Thanks all!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Favorite Side?

    That's great, thanks for the update! Yes, best to avoid pumping this early on if it's not needed.

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