Switching breasts during the same feeding

Blanca - posted on 11/08/2008 ( 27 moms have responded )

11

18

1

My little boy is 5 weeks old and he's been brestfeeding since day 1. Ever since we left the hospital, the nurses would have him nurse on one side and then when he stopped, burb him, then switch sides. I had no problem with this until I read where it's better NOT to switch sides; that I should have him feed entirely on one side. Now I'm completely conflicted. Which way is better?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Kristen - posted on 11/11/2008

70

88

3

Got it. Ok thanks Nicole! I would love to pump and feed off one at the same time though because the unused on just leaks EVERYWHERE. My bobby, her outfit and my pants get soaked. I've tried to hold a breast sheild up while feeding but I need a thurd hand. If I prop it up it just slips and makes a mess. I don't know what to do other than place a town or burp cloth down and let it flow. I just hate to lose any of it. Milk is like gold!!

Blanca - posted on 11/11/2008

11

18

1

You ladies are wonderful! When you're a first time mom you get A LOT of info, most that isn't helpful, and get overwhelmed. Thank you for all the feedback!

Jennifer - posted on 11/11/2008

11

0

2

That is SO true. If it's working-- you're happy, he's gaining weight--just keep doing it how you feel.



Sheryl's response is closest to what the midwives told me.

Katie - posted on 11/11/2008

110

14

11

PS One thing I have learned with breastfeeding (this is my first child) is that too much information can sabotage you! It's best to (although I know it's hard) take things with a grain of salt. I was always getting different info on how long to feed, how long to wait in between (or not) feedings, how many times a day the baby should feed (less than 7 is just not enough according to some books!). At some point you just have to tune all that information that isn't serving you out. The best sign your baby is getting what he/she needs is by wet and soiled diapers and weight gain, IMHO! :)

[deleted account]

there is no 'better'. you have to do what works for you and your baby! Seriously, you will go crazy listening to people tell you what is best.
I started out doing one side and then read that if you feed 2 breasts then your baby will go longer between feedings so i tried it and it worked for me! If you're willing to try it then go for it, but if you are happy with the way you are doings things the way you are now, than stay with it! :)

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

27 Comments

View replies by

Kayleigh - posted on 01/27/2009

4

5

1

I always put my daughter on the other side afterwards as the fist bit of milk that comes out is the drink then the food so all ur doing is offering a drink after babys meal, a breast fed baby wont take it unless they need it so dont worry about over feeding, and keep going with what u r doing well done.

[deleted account]

My daughter was a one sider unless it was her night feed which she would take both sides and go to sleep for 12 hours, in the morning I fed her from one sometimes both but normally one and express the other side. She fed every 2-3 hours through the day and she would not take both sides, I would just remember which side she had last and offer the other. I fed her exclusive breast till she was 8 months and stopped for my health reasons but I am 26 weeks preg again and will breast feed this one the same way too.



 



At the end of the day it is your body and your baby, if its not broke dont fix it. Just enjoy the closeness and time you share.



 



 



 

Nicola - posted on 01/27/2009

7

9

0

I have breast fed 4 of my children in fact i am doing it now for my twins they have their own breast lol! But when i fed my girls for 8 moths i did exacly the same as you fed one good feed off one and burped and fed off the other breast after!



I'm a breast feeding support worker and you can ask your health visitor for the contact in your area and one can come out to you and there brilliant and can answer all types of problems you might have!



Any way feed off both breasts keeps you more comfortable and to be honest it filled my babys up nicely!



All the best you are doing the best thing for your baby after 6 weeks you will think it's a doddle



Nicola

Sheryl - posted on 11/11/2008

18

19

1

Jennifer - It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one with this philosophy. I am not a lactation consultant however I am a L&D / Mother- Baby RN. It really doesn't matter if it's one breast or two It's the amount that your baby requires and they will let you know when they are satisfied. Breastfeeding can be confusing mainly because everyone has their own opinion ...which is great.... but people have to find out what works best for them. Sometimes it's a trial and error thing. A lot of us worry about our supply...but you don't need to feel "full" before a feeding to have a good supply or to meet your baby's nutritional needs.

Katie - posted on 11/11/2008

110

14

11

I have always switched because that was what I was told to do (so you wouldn't be lopsided - LOL). But you just have to do what works best for you and your baby. Sometimes he's not interested in the 2nd and then I just start with that breast on the next feeding. Or if he takes both, I start with the breast I finished with on the last feeding. I have read that you can even continue to go back and forth if your baby is exceptionally hungry!

Nicole - posted on 11/11/2008

24

10

2

Kristen, if your breast hurt in between feedings and are feeling full, chances are your supply will dip a bit. Only because that pain you're feeling is sending a signal to your body that it's producing too much so it'll cut down on it's production to accomidate your babies feeding habbits (or your pumping habbits).

The way I understan it, if you completely empty, you make more. If you pump to just take the edge off, you will start making less. And if you pump more than taking the edge off, but don't completely empty, you'll maintain your current production.

Amanda - posted on 11/11/2008

19

5

2

I breatfed all three of my babies...it sounds like your little man is doing well. Make sure he gets a lot of hindmilk, but listen to your heart and your little boy and you will do fine! Best wishes!

Nicole - posted on 11/11/2008

24

10

2

My little one will only eat on one side. When she was much younger, and I was still home on leave, she cluster fed all day so I always just let her eat on one side and be done only because I knew she'd eat again in a bit and would offer her the other side. Now that she's 4.5 months, and I'm back to work, she still only eats off one side. Because I pump at work, and both sides are being emptied each time I pump, I probably should pump after I feed her at night at home, but I don't. In the morning, I pump and nurse her at the same time so I'm empty before work, but at night, I let her eat on one side and then just wait until her next feeding and give her the other side. But I do pump both sides before I go to bed so that I'm pretty empty. She still gets up and eats at least once a night, so I again, just give her the one side and leave it at that. Otherwise I'd be getting up and pumping in the middle of the night, and that just sounds wrong!! :) So far that seems to be working for me, but if I ever need or want a little extra milk, I will pump the side that she didn't eat off of. . .but not normally. I think just as long as your supply isn't being hurt by what you're doing, then let it be.

Kristen - posted on 11/11/2008

70

88

3

To the one sided feeders: When they only want the one side do you then pump the one not fed from or do you let it it there until the next feed? It makes my breasts hurt to wait that long and it makes me think my supply will go down if I don't. Its a fear, but is it justified? What I mean is should I pump or not pump if she only takes one breast..sorry, I just came back to nursing ladies and now it seams she only wants one the majority of the time.

Holly - posted on 11/11/2008

33

29

4

I feed my baby on one side per feeding and always have. When my daughter was newborn I had such a hard time getting her to latch on that I was encouraged to just let her nurse on one side for as long as she'd stay attached. Just make sure that keep track of what side you nursed on last so you don't forget which side to nurse on next time! :)

Sarah - posted on 11/09/2008

35

5

3

I do the same as Shae. my little piglet always takes both sides...lol! sometimes he only takes a bit on the first side, almost to quench his thirst, then settles down for a serious feed on the second. it is like a little dance. i just let him lead and watch his cues. in terms of switching or not...offer the other side, and see if he's into it. he regulates his own appetite. good luck with everything!

Crystal - posted on 11/09/2008

41

40

5

my son is very random about feeding. on some days he prefers to nurse on one breast without siwtching breasts half way thru, and some days he prefers to be switched half way thru. I find on the days that he prefers one breast i pump the other to keep my breast comfortable . i never knew about this storage capacity thing before. I nursed my first son as well, and have had no problems. I find the boys always in their own ways let me know what was comfortable for them, and i did what i had to do to keep it comfortable for me. Every pereson and baby is different, so you have to do what works for you.

Tricia - posted on 11/08/2008

18

2

1

I should add that frequent breastfeeding is recommended for most babies. I would not go 3-4 hours having nursed on just one side. It's more typical to nurse every 1.5 to 2.5 hours during the day. Sometimes, moms will nurse every hour if baby is hungry, having "frequency days" (or growth spurts) or needs to be comforted at the breast.

Tricia - posted on 11/08/2008

18

2

1

Some mothers have an over abundant supply and feed one breast per feeding. If baby is gaining well, and supply does not diminish, it's fine to do that.
As I said before, it's really due to storage capacity. The research on milk storage capacity is fairly new, within the last few years. Additionally, if you have large storage capacity and feed from both breasts, baby might receive more foremilk and less hindmilk. That is why the baby should finish the breast and come off on his/her own. Offer the other side if baby still wants to nurse.
Some moms with an over abundant supply can be prone to plugged ducts since their babies are not able to adequately remove all the milk from their breasts.
I was able to nurse on one breast per feeding for some of the day, while offering both breasts at other times. I was still nursing at one year and was separated from my baby all day when I attended a conference. I did not pump (since I had been an at home home with no need to pump) and since I had large storage capacity I was able to get through the day comfortably. My friend who had small storage capacity had to pump when separated from her baby.

Heather - posted on 11/08/2008

9

45

0

What!?! Not switch sides, where did you read that? As far as I know you should always switch. Even if it's only a little on the last side, then pick up where you left off at the next feeding. If you don't you might lose milk in one or both breasts. I have heard of cases where women would bf on one side exclusively but it is not very common.

Joanie - posted on 11/08/2008

149

24

18

I agree with what Shae said.



For me, one of my breasts always has a lot more milk than the other. So I usually feed on both sides. I don't have enough milk in the left side for a good feed, but I don't want to feed on just the right because I want my supply in my left to go up, not down. I do like to offer just the left if he just needs a little 'snack'.

Blanca - posted on 11/08/2008

11

18

1

Thanks for the info! I'm going to stick to what I've been doing. He's gaining weight and everything else looks good.

Tricia - posted on 11/08/2008

18

2

1

Whether your baby takes one breast or two at a feeding often depends on your milk storage capacity (which has nothing to do with breast size.) Some moms have large storage capacity and their baby fills up after taking one breast, while other moms have small storage capacity and baby needs to drink from both breasts.
Finish the first breast first, and allow your baby to come off on his own. If he is still hungry, offer the second breast.
Some babies will nurse off one breast for part of the day, and two breasts at other times of day. Watch your baby and see if he is content after feedings. Cluster feedings at some point in the day (often evenings) are quite normal also.
There is no "one size fits all" for breastfeeding mothers or their babies!

Sheryl - posted on 11/08/2008

18

19

1

I know there is a lot of conflicting info out there! Best rule of thumb is to nurse your baby until the breast is good and soft before switching sides! The idea is that you want him to get as much of the fatty milk (hindmilk) as possible. a good indicator of wheter or not he is getting enough fatty milk is he should have yellowish "seedy" stools. You have probably seen this before....it looks like tiny sesame seeds in his stools. the "seeds" are actually left over fat from your milk that was not used by his body. It is also important to drain the breast well so that you do not develop mastitis.

General rule of thumb.....If he's wetting & stooling well (usually every feed though some BF babes don't stool everyday) and gaining weight....you're doing a great job! Don't sweat the small stuff!

Shae - posted on 11/08/2008

117

12

17

I have always done it the way you have. Let them eat as much as they want on the first side until they stop. Then burp them, and offer them the second side. Sometimes they won't take it at all, or they will nurse for a short amount of time. The next time you nurse, start on the side he had 2nd the previous time.



(The only time that I will not switch sides, is if my baby only nurses for a very short time...then I will still offer her the same side instead of the other one.)



Hope this helps!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms