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Some newborns prefer to feed on one side because of tension due to the way they were lying in the womb - it takes them a little while to 'straighten out'. As Elpheba mentions, cranial osteopathy can help with that if it is becoming an issue for you.
The gulping, squeaking and gagging you mention sounds like fast let down. You can slow let down by pressing the heel of your hand above the nipple. Have you also thought about experimenting with different positions? Laid back positions (lying a bit reclined, supported by pillows for example) or any other position where the milk is coming out against gravity can help. Some mothers also find that feeding lying down so that the baby can dribble a little out of his mouth if he is getting too much milk works for them.
Good luck with the Children's Centre and I hope things settle down for you soon x
Hello, my baby prefers the left too! I express some milk out first when it is full and painful as you describe and then I latch him on using a version of the rugby hold position for the right! I put a pillow down my side and lay him on it so he is horizontal laying exactly the same way as he would if he was on my left but I give him the right. It seems to work so I do it every time now when I'm at home. It's a bit awkward when out and about so I just give him his favourite then!
I second getting some support too, in my area the children's centre had someone that would come out the same day as you called.
Find your local breastfeeding support and go and see them. There is something not quite right with your latch and you really need to get some professional help to sort it out and make things more comfortable for both of you. It would also be good to get him checked by a bf professional for a tongue tie.
Cranial osteopathy was suggested to me by a lactation consultant when DS had ongoing issues with my right boob. I didn't go through with it at the time as, with persistence (from me), he sorted himself out but I believe some people have good success with it.
As you're an experienced BFer though, could your new baby be tongue tied whereas the others weren't?
Every child is different and every experience I've had breast feeding has been different.
Like LeBoob said it is very early days and things will probably settle down and I would echo her advice.
My right side has always given me more grief than my left. My midwife told me she knew a couple of people who ended up exclusively feeding from one side! If the right side is getting really full it can make it difficult for your little one to latch on properly and therefore causing pain and frustration all around. As its early days it may take a few more for milk production to settle down in the right side to help this. Sometimes expressing a little from this side can make it softer and easier to latch (mine got huge, distended and uncomfortable). It maybe that the initial let down is too much when he's still so small.
With my third I would start them on the left hand side, break the latch and then put them on the right side (initial hunger had died down so calmer approach) and then let them feed away but for a while always started on the left side.
I guess the point that all my waffle is making is that there could be several reasons for this and several solutions. Do you have a local breast feeding support group you could try? They would have more opportunity to see, discuss and advise you personally.
I don't think you are doing anything wrong and my guess would be in time it will get better and easier.
First things first I'm no expert! Your only a week in so your going unbelievable, I remember feeling miserable but soldiering through, and it was the best thing I did. My baby prefers the left side too, someone told me its because they can hear your heart and its soothing. My right side also killed for the first month, but persist! Make sure you have plenty of lanolin for your nipples & express a little milk and air dry if they crack. Every baby is different but try finding somewhere that's comfy for you both, what really helped me was making sure the arm that was under the boob was tucked under my arm, as if they were cuddling you. Keep going your doing great!
Can anyone advise or offer some suggestions, I feel a bit rubbish needing help being as this is my third baby but I'm struggling with feeding DS3, he is a week old and feeds continuously, sleeps for maybe 20 mins on my knee then wakes up and feeds again, he has very explosive nappies but nothing too out of the ordinary and he doesn't bring up wind at all.
He prefers the left breast which is comfortable but constantly feels empty and soft but I do put him on the right which feels a lot fuller but the initial latch although seems fine hurts like hell and the nipple is bleeding and has a hole in it. DS will fuss at this breast several times before latching properly and feeding.
What on earth am I doing wrong?! DS2 fed like a dream with no pain or anything.
I'm considering everything from a dummy to bottles.
I'm not sure if its relevant but I seem to make so much milk, I soak through multiple breast pads at once and often DS and I wake up soaked, he really seems to struggle to drink it all on the right side and gulps, squeaks and gags because it comes out so quick/strong.