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Thread: If LO only feeds on one side, do I need to pump both sides?

  1. #1

    Default If LO only feeds on one side, do I need to pump both sides?

    Going back to work soon. She only feeds on one side per nursing session. I just alternate sides each feed. I bought a double electric for when I return to work, but I am wondering if I really NEED to pump both sides when she normally only eats from one? I don't want to increase my supply at all (it is already a slight oversupply) so would it be smarter to just get a single electric pump? Or should I pump both sides anyway just for my milk stash? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: If LO only feeds on one side, do I need to pump both sid

    How old is your baby?

    I would wait and see how much you get pumping both sides. Most women do not respond as well to the pump as they do to a nursing baby so you might need that extra. But you don't want to make your oversupply worse, either. So if you find you're pumping a crazy amount, way more than you need, back off and just pump one side. Or pump less often.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: If LO only feeds on one side, do I need to pump both sid

    Welcome to the forum!

    It's good that you bought the double electric pump. Oversupply typically doesn't last more than a few months, so even if right now you need to feed on just one breast and pump just one breast, it's quite possible that in the future you'll need to use both.

    When you get back to work, you'll need to play it by ear. If you are getting plenty of milk from pumping just one breast at a time, and your supply remains stable when you're with your baby, then you can just pump one breast when you're at work. But if you find that you're not bringing home enough milk, and you feel like your baby is needing more than you can easily provide, it might be a good idea to pump both sides at once.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  4. #4

    Default Re: If LO only feeds on one side, do I need to pump both sid

    Hello everyone, I am new to this forum but I have the same question but I just want a little clarification. How do you know if you are pumping enough? I believe I have an oversupply b/c all the symptoms that have been mentioned in other posts coincide. LO's stool is green(not all the time), very gassy, LO chokes at beginings of nursing and a lot of spit-up/vomit. So I've combated this by doing the Laid-back feeding and burping during feeding (even though LO screems her headoff when I take her off the breast) and that has helped with stools and reduce spit-ups-sometimes. My LO is 9wks old and she feeds about every 2-3hrs and I have also EBF from one breast at a time since birth. I started working part-time last week and so I have been trying the follwing schedule- to feed her at 6am and then double pump at 8am b4 I leave for work and then double pump at 11am. I have been able to get home most afternoons to give her the next feeding around 1:30-2pm but it's only from one breast. However, I'm not really sure if I should be double pumping or just do one breast at time. I am now able to get about 2oz (give or take a little more or less) from each breast. Does this indicate that I should just continue to alternate the pumping, thereby simulating how I have been feeding her for the past weeks or should I double pump cause I'm away from her. Keeping in mind that while I'm working part-time now, I will go to full time in about 7wks and I already have been building up stash of frozen milk.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to post your thoughts. This forum is such help.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: If LO only feeds on one side, do I need to pump both sid

    My LO also nurses from just one breast but when I do pump (only every couple days right now because I only need a small freezer supply and enough for my hubby to occasionally practice with the bottle) I do both breasts. I notice I get less from whichever breast she nursed on last. Sometimes if that side stops flowing before the other I will unhook that side and just pump the other. From both together I usually get 4oz which is about one meal so I plan to continue this way unless my supply goes up too much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: If LO only feeds on one side, do I need to pump both sid

    I have big-time oversupply and a large storage capacity and my LO usually nursed from one side. But I always pumped both sides at once - just so much more efficient that way. To avoid stimulating my supply even more, I pumped less frequently than a pumping mom typically would. I still ended up with extra milk most days. The way you know you are pumping enough is if you are consistently keeping up with baby's daytime demand! If you start falling behind, that tells you you need to increase the pumping. And if you're always ahead, you can consider backing down, but keeping in mind that pumping tends to get harder over time - so it might not hurt not maintain a modest oversupply early on. I didn't start seriously backing down on pumping until my LO was 9 months old and I had enough milk in the freezer to last for the rest of the year.

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