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Thread: How do I know when the first breast is finished?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default How do I know when the first breast is finished?

    I've just been learning how I need to make sure Naomi is getting the cream out of the breast, and that this may be taking longer than I was thinking. But as one side comes to an end, one of these things happens:

    Baby comes off, but seems hyper and unsatisfied. (I might put her back on, and possibly even have another letdown. Then I know that breast wasn't finished.)
    Baby comes off, and seems satisfied. (That is the only clear-cut one.)
    The sucking slows way down and baby may even fall partially asleep at the breast, still nibbling, but in a way that is a bit irritating to the breast. (In this circumstance I feel like taking her off.)

    So how do I know when the first breast is finished? If I try to hand express a little milk once she comes off and a drop of cream comes out, I assume it's not finished. If I try and can get nothing, I assume it's finished. Is this correct?

    Also, if I have OALD, does that mean I do have an oversupply, or could you have OALD but not have an oversupply?

    Thank you!

  2. #2

    Default Re: How do I know when the first breast is finished?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*naomismommy View Post
    I've just been learning how I need to make sure Naomi is getting the cream out of the breast, and that this may be taking longer than I was thinking. But as one side comes to an end, one of these things happens:

    Baby comes off, but seems hyper and unsatisfied. (I might put her back on, and possibly even have another letdown. Then I know that breast wasn't finished.)
    Baby comes off, and seems satisfied. (That is the only clear-cut one.)
    The sucking slows way down and baby may even fall partially asleep at the breast, still nibbling, but in a way that is a bit irritating to the breast. (In this circumstance I feel like taking her off.)

    So how do I know when the first breast is finished? If I try to hand express a little milk once she comes off and a drop of cream comes out, I assume it's not finished. If I try and can get nothing, I assume it's finished. Is this correct?
    Actually, the breast is never fully empty. It continuously produces milk, so it is possible to have multiple letdowns on one breast. I would describe it more as when most of the milk is gone from the breast, things slow down to a trickle so to speak, and that usually prompts baby to want to switch sides. If however, baby doesn't want alot more milk, baby might want to just continue to suckle a little bit and only get a tiny bit of milk at a time...comfort sucking, instead of sucking to really get more milk. You'd notice that baby wasn't swallowing anymore, just sucking. Comfort sucking can help keep your supply up, but if it's making you uncomfortable, I personally think it's fine to unlatch baby if he/she's content and doesn't want to actively nurse any longer.

    In your first scenario, if it were me, and baby had nursed for a good while, I would suggest burping baby and offering the other breast. Then, after baby had nursed as long as she wanted and or fell asleep and unlatched, I would assume she was done. The next time I nursed, I'd offer that 2nd breast first and go through the motions again.

    Also, if I have OALD, does that mean I do have an oversupply, or could you have OALD but not have an oversupply?
    I dealt with OALD and oversupply with both of my boys. I "think" it's possible to have OALD without oversupply, but I'm not positive since I had them both. I think they more likely go together. After baby finishes a breast, do you notice that the breast is still really full and/or uncomfortable? Does baby have any sympoms of oversupply, like explosive watery green diarrhea?

  3. #3

    Default Re: How do I know when the first breast is finished?

    I agree it's fine to unlatch your baby if she's basically asleep and just doing non-nutritive sucking. In that case, she is done -- or at least, she's full. Some babies will be happy to suck like that for hours. If you unlatch her then she may just settle down to sleep.

    It is possible to have OALD and not have an oversupply. Some mothers' milk lets down forcefully even if they have an average supply.
    Karen
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: How do I know when the first breast is finished?

    Thank you very much for your help.

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