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Thread: Left Breast Not "working"

  1. #1

    Default Left Breast Not "working"

    hi all. Hoping I might get some help here. My left breast is virtually dry. Here is how I think it happened: Once my daughter turned 4 mos or so, she became an efficient nurser, and I got lazy. Meaning, I often started her on the right breast vs. alternating, and I think she she got what she needed there/was bored and impatient with the left side. Thus it became a "vicious circle". (less nursing = less milk= less nursing)

    This in and of itself was not an issue, as I don't mind being a little lopsided. I have gone back to work and am pumping, and now I am seeing the err of my ways. My sessions are not too productive, in that I am only getting milk from the right breast. I get approximately 2 oz there, whereas on the left side, I maybe get 1/4 of a teaspoon! Any tips? I keep pumping it in hopes that I will see an increase. My daughter is 6.5 months old now and I am trying to provide for her while she is at daycare all day.

    Can I somehow get my left breast to produce again?

    Other info:
    • I recently started taking fenugreek and more milk plus 3-4 times per day
    • I rented a symphony breast pump
    • I got larger shields today, as things seemed a bit tight (thus far no change in amount gathered)
    • My daughter is in care from 8-5. I nurse her at 7:15-ish and top off around 7:45, am working with the daycare on having her be ready to nurse at 5, then I try again before bedtime at 7. I dream feed at 10 and am currently dreamfeeding at 3 a.m. also (but would like to stop)
    • I am pumping at 10,1 4 and 9.


    thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,643

    Default Re: Left Breast Not "working"

    You can get lazy lefty to produce again, but it will take some work. Here are the things you can do:
    - Start more nursing sessions on the left side. Babies suck hardest and empty the breast more thoroughly at the beginning of a feeding.
    - Pump the left side more frequently. The more stimulation you give that side, and the more frequently you remove milk, the faster supply will increase on that side.
    - Pump the left side after feedings when you are with your baby. It sounds like you're pumping 4 times a day- and that's good, but more is better.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Left Breast Not "working"

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    You can get lazy lefty to produce again, but it will take some work. Here are the things you can do:
    - Start more nursing sessions on the left side. Babies suck hardest and empty the breast more thoroughly at the beginning of a feeding.
    - Pump the left side more frequently. The more stimulation you give that side, and the more frequently you remove milk, the faster supply will increase on that side.
    - Pump the left side after feedings when you are with your baby. It sounds like you're pumping 4 times a day- and that's good, but more is better.
    Wow, I'm having the same dilemma (left breast) as well, only I have twins to work with! Is there anything different I have to do? I think I'm doing all of the above but haven't seen any noticeable difference (pumping approximately 1 oz on left and 4 oz on right on most sessions). I don't even know if I'm pumping enough for two babies (I try to pump at least 8-10 times a day).
    DH of 4 years and I and with a toddler and twins

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,643

    Default Re: Left Breast Not "working"

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*makuahine View Post
    Wow, I'm having the same dilemma (left breast) as well, only I have twins to work with! Is there anything different I have to do?
    There's nothing different you need to do- you probably just need to do twice as much of it as a mom of a singleton. (Not what you wanted to hear, right? ) What sort of pump do you (both!) have? Sometimes the issue is the pump, in which case trying a different model may be helpful. I personally highly recommend using a rental hospital-grade pump to increase supply. I used one and found it hugely more effective than the Ameda Purely-Yours I started with.
    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

    Default Re: Left Breast Not "working"

    Thanks - i had to LOL - "lazy lefty"!. I'll keep trying. I do sometimes start her on the left but she quickly gets frustrated- I think because the letdown is slow. I think I may start her 10:00 dreamfeed off on the left, since she may be content at that time to suck for comfort.

    thanks again!

    p.s. the daycare givers made me some Atole, a drink which they swear helps milk production (mexican chocolate milk)

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