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Thread: 16 week old rejecting one breast

  1. #1

    Default 16 week old rejecting one breast

    I am exclusively breastfeeding my 16 week old baby boy. He has only gained about 1lbs per month since his birth so I try to be in tune with his eating habits. After his 3 month growth spurt where he would nurse constantly from both breasts, about 2 weeks ago he started preferring my left. At first I could get him to nurse on my right, but recently he pretty much rejects it all together. I offer my right to him first, but he won't latch. The only time he latches is at night or when super drowsy before/after naps. When he does latch, he nurses for only 2-4 minutes before wanting the other side. My supply is quickly drying up so I have been pumping -- the most i can get is 1 oz when pumping and most of the time it is a half of oz (I have the Medela Pump in Style Advanced). I feel like my left breast might not be able to support his entire eating which scares me considering he struggles putting on weight. Any suggestions on how to get the baby to nurse on the recently rejected right side? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 16 week old rejecting one breast

    Do you think the refusal is due to a slow flow/not much milk on that side? Have you considered or tried anything for increasing milk production overall?

    What happens if you let baby start on prefered breast and then switch?

    Are you sure your pump is in excellent working order and that it fits you correctly on both sides? .5 to 2 ounces from both breasts is considered normal pumped production if mom is nursing full time. But i am not sure what it means if you are getting that from one side that baby is rejectiong entirely.

    I find I can get my baby to take the less prefered side more when she is falling asleep or nursing in her sleep. I would suggest breast compressions to keep flow better while baby nurses as well. seach jack newman breast compressions for info.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 16 week old rejecting one breast

    Thanks for such a quick response!

    I'm pretty sure the refusal is due to slow flow/milk supply. I've tried mothers milk tea to increase supply and have started eating oatmeal daily (not sure if that really works). Any other suggestions to increase supply? Would you recommend fenugreek pills?

    I tried starting him on his preferred side and switching this morning and he wouldn't latch. He did go right back on his preferred side.

    My pump is only several months old and seems to be working fine. I just pumped the preferred side and was able to get 2oz out before the breast was completely empty (He nursed just over an hour ago). I was always able to get more milk from his preferred side, but i used to be able to pump 1-1.5oz from the less preferred after he nursed. I can only get close to 1 oz now with him not nursing and that is only in the mornings; in the afternoon .5 is most common or less.

    thank you for the compression information. i will research now.

    if my supply is starting to dry up, any suggestions on how to increase it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: 16 week old rejecting one breast

    Anything helpful in this link?

    Nothing is going to increase your supply like nursing more (or pumping) though galactagogues like fenugreek do help some women. How often does he nurse?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 16 week old rejecting one breast

    Agree with pp on milk production. Increasing frequency of milk removal is the number one way for increasing milk production. As far as oatmeal, fenugreek, and other galactagogues, both food and herbs- yes, most lactation professionals agree, they Do work. but not all will work for all mothers and not all the time. There are many options to try. There are prescription medications which act as galactagogues as well, Reglan and Domperidone, which you may wish to research. I suggest the book Making More Milk as the definitive guide written for mothers on increasing milk production. it is not an expensive book and your local LLL group (or public library(?) may have a copy to loan. And again, www.kellymom.com is a good online resource, and Jack Newman has good info on domperidone (keep in mind he is in Canada-acquiring a prescription for domperidone in the US can be difficult.)

    I also will mention, it is entirely normal for one side to be a lower producer than the other, and many babies do have a 'preference' based on this (for moms who are overproduction, sometimes baby prefers the less producing side.) However, since you are concerned about your baby's gain, I see no harm in working on increasing milk production which should 'help' on both sides produce a bit more, and thus, increase flow.

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