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Thread: Can you increase supply in one breast only?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Unhappy Can you increase supply in one breast only?

    I recenly returned to work where I can only pump once a day. I would do it more but I simply cannot, so pumping more during the day is not an option during the week.

    I use a madela symphony pump. I usually pump at work at about 2 or 3pm and manage to get 4oz. Problem is, I'm getting 3 to 3.5 oz from left breast and only .5 to 1oz from right. Right breast has always been weaker after suffering from mastitis early on it just never got to producing as much.
    This is enough for one bottle for my daughter, but I am worried that the overall supply is going down. And if right breast dries up completely i'm not going to be able to function with only one good breast as her appetite increases.

    Right now, I breast feed my daughter at 6:30am and 8:30am before I leave for work. Then again at 7:30 before bed. So I'm getting 3 breast feeding sessions and one pump (about 10 minutes until flow pretty much stops). Daughter is not a huge drinker yet. At 3 months old she is eating anything from 3 to 5 oz 7 times a day. (frozen supply and one bottle of formula account for rest of feeds.) And she always favors the left good breast (but is happy to suck on right at night as she's getting hardly anything from it and loves to stay on longer before bed - or so it would seem.)

    I am worried that if I start to take any supplements then I run the risk of the good left breast over producing. Will that happen? Does anyone have any experience with this?

    I thought about breast feeding exclusively on weekends, but then I am worried again that if I put her to the left breast too much I will engorge during the week when I can only pump once. And if I put her to the right she might not get enough milk. I am assuming milk is low and slow on right breast as she has started to tug and pull when feeding on it.

    Don't you sometimes wish that your breasts were see through so that you could actually see how much milk was getting through?! I swear it would be so much more less stressful if we could actually see what was happening! : )

    Anyway, any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to lose my supply as i am certainly not ready to give up breastfeeding yet.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Can you increase supply in one breast only?

    It sounds like you have some concerns about your supply.

    I would suggest you nurse her as much as you can when you are together. It sounds like she is sleeping a long stretch at night. Would it be possible for you to put her to the breast before you go to bed, on one side, and pump on the other? (In other words, would she waken too much for this?)

    Many moms are able to only pump once (or no times at all!) while at work, but then nurse the baby a lot when together. This is called "reverse cycling", but it requires the baby to wake up to nurse a lot at night. Maybe if dd becomes wakeful at night you could nurse her then.

    Also, I would suggest trying to stay away from supplements on the weekend. This will definitely help your supply and ensure you have milk to last as long as you wish!

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