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Thread: How to tell if breast is empty

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    26

    Default How to tell if breast is empty

    Hi All,

    I am just wondering how moms here can tell if a breast is empty before/after a feed. I usually just feed from one breast per session and switch to the other breast for the next session, but I know some people here would say start the baby off on the last breast and then switch them. To me, my breast doesn't really "feel" empty after a feed. In terms of output, I am getting lots of wet and poopy diapers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,007

    Default Re: How to tell if breast is empty

    how old is your baby? In the early weeks, while you're milk supply is adjusting it's really hard to tell, but once everything is established your breast should feel squishier after a nursing session

    Edited to add: Your breasts are never really empty, you'll always be able to get a drop out. But if you hand express for a minute and only produce a drop or two or three, there's a pretty good chance that it's empty. If you can still spray or even dribble milk it's not empty. hth
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    26

    Default Re: How to tell if breast is empty

    Baby is 3 months old.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,607

    Default Re: How to tell if breast is empty

    I think some moms can feel a difference in the breast after nursing, and some can't. Put me in the "can't" column- but I'm a 40DD so my breasts are pretty soft and squishy to begin with, so there was never much palpable difference between a full breast and an empty one, except for the few times when I ended up engorged due to my baby sleeping through the night.

    If you're getting lots of wets and poops, there's no need to worry.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,097

    Default Re: How to tell if breast is empty

    For me personally, I became an expert at feeling myself up. I'd feel my breasts before a feed, and then give 'em a squish afterwards and started to learn the difference between "full" (not engorged) and "emptied". Mine stay pretty squishy now even DD hasn't nursed for a while, but there's a definite difference after she feeds. Like they just don't feel as "dense".

    But!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    I think some moms can feel a difference in the breast after nursing, and some can't. ...

    If you're getting lots of wets and poops, there's no need to worry.
    Mama of two precious girls
    DD1 born 23 July 2008 and
    DD2 born 14 January 2010

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,687

    Default Re: How to tell if breast is empty

    I found that if I squeeze my boob and it gets harder to get drops of milk out, then it's "empty". That's how I figured out if my baby "emptied" my breast.

    But, like pps said, no need to worry if your LO has plenty of wet and poopy diapers!
    I'm Anna
    Proud mama to my 2 little high needs "koala bears":

    Ethan born 8/23/08
    Bfed for 22 months, weaned with love 7/2010

    Lucas, born 1/6/11
    Nursing strong for 19 MONTHS!

    Cloth diapering 1 full-time even though I'm constantly ! Currently in potty training mode. We also and

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: How to tell if breast is empty

    after a while, i was just able to tell by cupping my breasts, feeling them, etc. i know what the weight of an "empty" breast feels like. sometimes i make dh do the weight test if i can't tell which is fuller (he finds this amusing )

    also, i notice some extra loose skin around the breast when it's empty.
    the best food blog you aren't reading

    i'm beth, mama to:

    lila, 11/6/08, nursed until 2yrs 10 mos, weaned during pregnancy

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    miles from nowhere
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    11,108

    Default Re: How to tell if breast is empty

    Yeah I just kinda feel myself up. I do it subconciously and catch myself doing it at inappropriate moments- like talking to my boss.

    I can't express milk by hand even when I'm full so that one doesn't always work either.

    If you're getting plenty of wets and dirties you're doing fine and you'd know if baby wasn't getting enough hindmilk. The symptoms are hard to miss. Lots of fussy gassiness, consistently green foamy poops, etc.
    “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.”
    --Anonymous

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