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Thread: How to nurse on one breast only?

  1. #1

    Default How to nurse on one breast only?


    To make a long story short, I have a well functioning breast while the other is very problematic.

    I want to stop nursing on the problematic breast and nurse only on the good one (baby doesn't want the problematic breast due to minimal output).

    The problematic breast is currently engorged, lumpy, full of plugged ducts and painful (I keep getting mastitis on it too). How do I dry it up? Is it ok to take no action at all or can that cause problems? What am I suppose to do?

    If there is any other advice regarding nursing on one side only I will gladly hear it.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: How to nurse on one breast only?

    If you are not going to nurse on that side, to prevent mastitis you still need to express from that side-- either by pumping or manual expression. Express just enough so that you're empty enough to be comfortable, but not so much that your body thinks it needs to up its production. This is what I did when I suddenly weaned DS2 (though he was a toddler at the time, idk how old your lo is). I did it on both sides, though, I'm not sure how continuing to nurse on the one side will affect production on the other. I did have a SIL who ended up only nursing on one side with her second because her lo stopped accepting the other side, but I don't know any other details.

    It is still probably best, though, to try and get yourself regulated so you can eventually nurse on both sides. Keep the problematic side from getting too engorged (pump if the baby won't nurse) and use other techniques designed for combatting over-active letdown (block feeding, etc) until you get to a point where your baby will accept both sides again.

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!

    Daughter of God

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: How to nurse on one breast only?

    with the PP. Best of all would be to reduce supply on the difficult side until it becomes more usable and isn't always engorged and uncomfortable.

    When weaning- and this includes weaning from one breast- the best way to do it is to go slow. Letting yourself get really full or engorged sets you up for a lot of discomfort, at best, and a repeat case of mastitis at worst. So you want to let the difficult side to fill up, but also maintain some flow through it using hand expression, nursing, or pumping. Most importantly, if you feel like you're getting mastitis again, it's vital to empty the breast even if that sets your weaning plans back to square one.

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