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Thread: Need to wean one side

  1. #1

    Default Need to wean one side

    Hello! I need some advice on how to wean one side. I have had persistent clogs and blisters on my left side the last 5 weeks. I also get the tiny "milk strings" and have to clear them often. This side produces substantially less milk so I have decided to cut it off and only nurse on the right. But I'm not sure how to wean without running the risk of getting clogs in the process (due to not properly draining my breast). My daughter is 3 months old now and she pretty consistently nurses 5 times a day. I always offer the left side first - she only nurses for about 5 minutes and then refuses to nurse anymore until I offer the right side. How do I safely wean the one side? Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Need to wean one side

    To wean one side, you do what you would do for both sides, but just on the one. Basically this means, very slowly, gradually, reduce milk extraction frequency and effectiveness. Less frequent and less effective milk extraction will start giving your body the message to reduce milk production in that breast. While you can certainly reduce production in this way, I am not sure if it is possible to entirely "dry up" one normally lactating breast while still making a good amount of milk in the other- at the very least, how this would work will be a bit individual I would think. So you might want to talk to an IBCLC about that.

    IN practice this means, nurse (or pump or hand express) less often and for a shorter time each time. Watch your body and adjust as needed. For example if you extract milk 3 times in 24 hours and find there is starting to be a problem, go back to 4 times a day for a little bit, etc.

    I am curious if baby always nursed with unusual infrequency or if this is new? Have you have tried increasing nursing frequency as a way to avoid the plugs etc? Most babies nurse at least 6-12 times per 24 hours at this age.

    Going forward, especially if you wean entirely from one breast, you are going to want to be very sure baby nurses often enough to keep milk production at adequate levels for the length of time you wish to nurse.

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