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Thread: feeding mostly from right breast

  1. #1

    Default feeding mostly from right breast

    hello,
    first please excuse my english, because i'm actually from estonia...

    the reason i want to ask for advice is that my DS (5 weeks old) is continuing to prefer my right side. i had the same problem in the beginning with DD (8 years old now ), but i do not remember how did we get past it - because i nursed her for almost 2 years and i do not recall having this problem later on.

    now my DS nurses from left side for 2-3 minutes only, then fusses, even cries and pulls away. i then have to give him the other side. he seems to get enough milk, because he has gained more than 1 kg since birth and is doing fine otherwise also.
    so it's mainly my problem, not his as i am very small-breasted and i really do not want to be lopsided, too
    i keep offering him the "bad" side first every nursing session, and it seemed to help a week ago. then i stopped doing that and nursed from one breast per session - and the problem started again as the milk supply in that left breast seemed to drop again. now back to offering that breast first.
    his latch seems to be fine, we also have tried switching positions, but i am not very good with football hold, so it is not helping either.

    well, is there anything else i could do? or is it just in my head and i should stop worrying?

    thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,368

    Default Re: feeding mostly from right breast

    Welcome to the forum!

    The best way to cope with this is to continue to offer the less favored breast first. Babies are usually hungriest at the beginning of a feeding, and that means they are less picky about which breast mom gives them. It's okay with the baby feeds rather quickly off the less favored breast, since some stimulation to and milk removal from that side is better than none.

    If you are becoming noticeably lopsided, and offering the smaller side first isn't fixing the problem, you may want to get a pump and pump the smaller side in addition to nursing on it. More stimulation to and milk removal from that side is the key to increasing supply on that side.

    Be patient, and give yourself and your baby time to figure this out. Your baby is still so little! You're an experienced mom, so you know how much will change in the next few weeks and months and years.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: feeding mostly from right breast

    I'm right there with you, with my 4.5 month old DD. She started getting picky about sides about your daughter's age (I didn't have this problem with DD1 who's 3yo now). Yes, I'm lopsided, but I'm told it probably will not be permanent after weaning (not sure if that makes me feel better now...). Here's what I have tried - not sure it will be helpful for you, but I know I always like to hear others' stories.

    With us, I think the problem is a strong letdown, which is an issue on both sides but perhaps more so on the left. So I've tried some of the tricks that are suggested for that issue: nursing while moving, like walking, swaying, or bouncing on an exercise ball; offering the rejected side while baby is very sleepy, such as at night; side-nursing while lying down or nursing while lying on my back with baby on my stomach so gravity reduces the flow a little; letting the let-down subside and trying again. The exercise ball and sleep-nursing help us nurse on that side about once a day, which is enough to make me less worried about plugged ducts or completely losing my supply. I completely gave up offering the left side except at night, because I got tired of the struggle.

    Two things have helped me worry less. One is the likelihood that eventually DD will be less bothered by my letdown when she gets older, and we'll be able to resume nursing normally on both sides. Second is doing some research/talking to people and realizing that this is not that strange - it has happened to others and everyone turns out okay. Twins grow just fine on what is essentially one breast's supply, and my DD is in the 85th percentile for weight (up from about 50th at birth) so she's doing fine too. And right now I personally have decided I'd rather be lopsided than struggle every nursing. Everyone has to figure out what's right for themselves and their family at each stage!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,922

    Default Re: feeding mostly from right breast

    I would suggest keep trying different positions or simply adjusting the positions you are already doing. Nursing laid back (mom leaning back) or side lying might help. Also just keep doing all the things that make for normal and easy breastfeeding-nursing on request, whenever you or your baby wish, as long as baby wishes, and switching sides as baby wishes while gently encouraging baby to take the 'less prefered' side as much as possible.

    If it is a too slow flow, maybe trying hand expression before nursing- or breast compressions during?

    if you really feel your milk production is much lower in the less preferred breast, you could pump or hand express from that side only to increase milk production.

    I definitely have one breast that produces more and two of my kids had/have a decided preference for that side. It just kind of worked itself out over time. The mystery in my case is why my middle son never seemed to have any preference, but now that I think about it I think it may have to do with the fact he was tandem nursing with his older brother for the first couple years.

  5. #5

    Default Re: feeding mostly from right breast

    hi again,

    and thanks for your encouragement and suggestions!
    we're still struggling, though the weight gain is continuing to be excellent. AND i know, i should not be worried, still can't help it.

    there were a couple of days when he refused the left breast totally. i tried hand expressing (as i don't have a pump, and unfortunately cannot afford to buy one), it was not very successful, i got about 30 ml (~1 oz?). now he is willing to latch onto the left also, but as supposedly there is not so much milk, he won't stay and suck for longer than maybe 2 minutes best. well, when he's really sleepy, he can stay for longer, but mostly comfort sucking then. is it also helping the production, just sucking there without getting any milk?

    i also noticed, that there are less "flows" coming out the left nipple (i have several streams from the right one, but only a few, and only one at the end of a session from the left). why is that?

    thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,368

    Default Re: feeding mostly from right breast

    Yes, the more sucking the baby does, the better milk supply should be, even if the sucking is mostly for comfort.

    The number of outlets on the nipple will differ from woman to woman and also between breasts. Some nipples have a lot of outlets and therefore a lot of streams, and others have fewer outlets and fewer streams. Less milk in the breast generally results in lower flow from the nipple- the ducts connecting to the outlets are temporarily dry and therefore there's no milk on the nipple surface.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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