Need both boobs to continue BF?

(11 Posts)
AsthmaWose Mon 16-May-16 03:18:13

I found myself in a situation where I am predominantly feeding my 8 week old DS on my right breast. Excuse the lengthy tale...

DS was found after a difficult start and many feeding issues to be tongue tied at 5 weeks. I couldnt wait for the NHS referal. His weight gain was poor and by the time I got him to a privately run clinc to address the tie and my supply had been hugely affected. On top of this, I had been feeding him through thrush which had caused mastitis (in left boob).

Since the tie was adressed, the last three weeks have been focused on feeding and getting the supply back up. Lots of at home time, nursing days, skin contact, cobathing ect. Through this I have watched my milk output crawl up with odd pumping sessions to help stimulate my supply.

However the left boob seems to have never quite recovered? DS is not as interested in it, doesn't feed on it for more than five minutes and the dreaded mastitis has returned this weekend. Im back on antibiotics as of yesterday. Thrush could also be lingering around? but my GP keeps treating them separately and doesn't belive in ductal thrush hmm. But that's a whole other thread!

I have heard that it is possible to BF from just one breast? The latch and feeds on my right side are really great. But my DS has only managed a weight gain of 3oz per week since the tie release. While he has plenty of wet nappies (poop is more irregular) he is yet to consistently pop off the boob and seem satisfied. Often, I find myself switching back and forth until he seems happy (by which point, he has been awake a while, gets overtired and I have a cranky little chap).

After switch nursing to no great affect (spends too long on right boob), I started to power pump on my left side. A small amount of 5ml increments seem to be happening. Still, I'm reaching out as I wonder if I am ever going to get there!

I have tried cranial osteopathy but to no real affect. The lactation consultant on the NHS is like impossibly busy and I'm frankly unable to afford further private help. The GP has suggested formula and I am wondering if I am after all this dedication, if that's where I am heading if right boob alone cant seem to support and satasify my son?

Is it the case that some BF mothers just need both breasts?

Thoughts welcome!

BusyCee Mon 16-May-16 03:26:07

Hi. I don't have any personal experience of this, but didn't want to read and run. About two years ago I did a breast feeding training course, on which there was a woman who was continuing to feed her 18month old. He had been fed from one breast throughout (can't quite remember why). He and she were both very calm and comfortable with it - she into told us as it came up as a question during one of the seasons. The only issue she noted was she had one boob that morphed during the feeding cycle and one that would perfectly happily have lived in one of her 'normal' bras.

Good luck to you both - sounds like you've had a tough start so hope you find your own groove and are able to enjoy it

BusyCee Mon 16-May-16 03:27:27

Oh sorry, and if you're having trouble pinning down your NHS lactation consultant, give La Leche league a try. They often have groups and lactation consultants that can help you out.

Babieseverywhere Mon 16-May-16 03:30:28

Yes, I knew one mother who fed her child from one breast. She had had a massive infected cyst in the other one and decided not to nurse off that side again.

You have probably already tried this...Some babies will feed more from the less favored side if you lie them down as normal for the more favored side and slide them across to the less favored side.

PerspicaciaTick Mon 16-May-16 03:33:35

My DS never seemed very interested in my left boob. In the end I fed him on the left using the rugby ball hold and on the right by holding him across my body. Positioning seemed to help him no end.

Shiraznowplease Mon 16-May-16 04:13:09

Hi
Just to reassure you, my 1st fed very reluctantly on my right side, mainly by changing positions or switch between breasts midfeed. It turned out I had an extremely fast flow one side and a slow flow the other?!? My 2nd would not be fooled and even expressing a little before putting her on my right didn't help. She refused point blank however I exclusively bf her for 6 months on just one breast, she grew according to the growth charts and I (sometimes) expressed from the right ( not the the little monkey would take milk from anywhere but my breast ... At 4 she is still a stubborn little thing). I carried on feeding until she was 13months and got teeth. It is possible x

Shiraznowplease Mon 16-May-16 04:17:25

Just wanted to add, it sounds as if you have had an awful time of it and you are doing brilliantly to even wanting to carry on.

mnpeasantry Mon 16-May-16 04:23:37

Congratulations on persevering. It sounds like you have made an outstanding effort to get this far.

For milk supply, have you tried fenugreek supplements? They are actually clinically proven to increase your supply by up to 9 times. I used the tea which is less effective than the capsules but still found my milk supply went up enormously very quickly and I stopped drinking it after just a few days.

In terms of the preference for one side, I don't know. My DD2 ignored one breast for a while and it was engorged and I think had mastitis. Just pumped as much as I could and eventually she started feeding from it but your circumstances sound rather different.

Mixed feeding could be an option if you're worried about weight gain. Best of luck with however you decide to proceed. Feeding can be wonderful but can also be really hard on the mother. You do what's right for you and I hope both the mastitis and thrush clear soon. flowersstar

Lovelydiscusfish Mon 16-May-16 06:16:36

I fed dd from one side only - no problems, continued bf until she was almost two. I did get a strange response from some (not all) of the hcps about it though, who appeared reluctant to believe me! So there is clearly a school of thought out there that it cannot work.
As I understand it, it is possible for women with only one remaining breast to bf, and for women to bf twins. So yes it is possible.
Good luck - really hope everything works out for you.

AsthmaWose Mon 16-May-16 08:45:08

Thank you all for taking the time to reassure me, and for your kind words. Really great to hear from others who have managed it!

Lovelydiscusfish Hcps certainly seem dubvious, but it's not helping me with the 3oz weekly weight gain. I think I would have an easier time if he was gaining a more normative 5oz sad Get quite stuck on the numbers of it all.

Shiraznowplease You are making me wonder if there are other factors at play as I do have a intense letdown on the right, so maybe the left seems slow in comparison. Hmmm.

BusyCee I can already relate to the lobsidedness! I will get in touch with the La Leche League today.

Babieseverywhere
I did try that position earlier on, to help with latching, but It's good to be reminded and give it another go. I think I will try rotating through some positions again in general as PerspicaciaTick suggests, it might help. Ive have a habit of nursing lying down atm so I can get some rest.

mnpeasantry
I ordered some this weekend, hopefully I will have a good response to it like you did grin

Lovelydiscusfish Mon 16-May-16 23:01:34

Sorry if I've missed this, but how old is your ds now? I do hugely understand the weight gain stres (I purchased some baby scales, and used to weigh dd almost hourly blush - she had slow weight gain early doors, though she shot up through the centiles to 25th, (which now matches her height- she's sort of petite but not tiny) after a week or two.
The advice I would like to pass on, is that I got from my GP. Which is, "it's just one of those things, don't worry about it". When I mithered him to weigh my baby on hospital grade scales. What he was trying to say ( I think) was that, as a parent, you know if your baby is putting on weight, appropriate to their stature and health, or not. Trust your instincts,
Ah, but it is so hard. Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.

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