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Baby refusing left boob

(21 Posts)
Lilllian34 Mon 08-May-17 09:52:29

Looking for help!
My EBF 6month old baby for some unknown reason has suddenly decided he doesn't want to nurse on my left boob?! This has gone on for 7-10 days now and at first I wasn't too concerned (thought supply would be well established by now and it would be a funny phase that would pass) However, big mistake!....I've got no milk now in left even when I do encourage/force (!) him to latch on he sucks for a few minutes then pulls off fussing, presumably because there is no milk 😞
Iv just expressed and only managed to get an ounce.
Firstly...does anyone have any ideas why he would suddenly prefer right boob? Or is just because I've no milk now? do I get supply back?? Just keep expressing even if nothing is coming?
I did put him on left boob during the night last night and when he was more sleepy he seemed happier to nurse for longer (presume a bit of comfort even if not much milk there?!)..will that help supply return?
Sorry lots of questions! I've been one of the lucky ones whose baby just latched on, no problems with supply or an issues before so I feel clueless! (And worried as he's not keen on good at all and won't take bottle so I need plenty milk!) x

Lilllian34 Mon 08-May-17 09:53:50

*keen on solids!

BertsBlanket Mon 08-May-17 10:10:15

The comfort sucking will help the milk supply a bit (proper deep sucks are best, but it's still stimulation so will help).

Do you think it's the position he lies in for milk on that side or the breast itself? If possible (and it depends on your breasts!), try feeding him in his favourite position but twisting around a bit so the other breast is in his mouth. That might be easier lying down using pillows to prop yourself a bit.

This has happened to me too though. Never got to the bottom of why, but kept persisting and eventually all went back to normal. It also happened to a friend and she just fed from one side for the rest of her breastfeeding time without worrying about maintaining supply or trying to persuade the baby back on.

Lilllian34 Mon 08-May-17 13:07:21

Hi 😊 Thanks for replying. Strange isn't it? At least I'm not the only 1 this has happened to!
If anything I would have said he preferred the left side normally and he used to prefer to fall asleep nursing on that no idea why he decided he didn't like it?! I'm guessing he doesn't like it now because there's no milk lol!
So today he's latched on twice and seemed quite happy to do so...but then started fussing and pulling off when no milk came 😐...then fed well on right boob so presume he was genuinely hungry.
So I guess I might just have to feed on one side like your friend? Heck I bet I'll look really lop sided tho πŸ™ˆ
I suppose he might just be self weaning? He doesn't seem to ask for it as much as he used to now hes sleeping better at night and has started solids/sippy cup with milk etc.
I was hoping to feed for the 1st 12 months but maybe he has other ideas?! These babies πŸ™„πŸ˜

Backhometothenorth Mon 08-May-17 18:51:41

Has he got a tooth coming through? It may be uncomfortable for him on one side perhaps?

Lilllian34 Mon 08-May-17 20:05:04

Good point...not sure really? Certainly not one that's obvious?
Things are getting worse and he's basically refused to nurse on left side all day and has reluctantly nursed on right side but for 5mins or so each time. He's just gone to bed at 7pm having had no milk since 3pm and completely refused to nurse. What's going on?! I'm getting really worried now...surely he will be dehydrated if nothing else. I'm concerned he's self weaning...suppose if he is there's nothing I can do? Feel really sad tonight tho 😞

Backhometothenorth Wed 10-May-17 06:13:35

Hope things have improved OP?

Lilllian34 Wed 10-May-17 09:27:48

Morning...thank you for asking ☺️ I'm still battling on...managed to get him to nurse from left side overnight but he's still not keen at all. Reminds me of the early days with all the expressing...then engorgement...then baby won't feed efficiently...then worry about supply 😣 Sometimes I do feel a bit envious of my bottle feeding mummy friends with non of these worries and babies that sleep at night πŸ˜’πŸ˜΄
He's suddenly decided he's not a bothered about nursing at all it seems? Won't fall asleep feeding anymore either...which I suppose is ok...he has dummy and falls asleep with that. Guess my baby just growing up and maybe self weaning 😒

willitbe Wed 10-May-17 22:05:16

I had one of my children only wanting to feed one side too. I ended up using traditional hold on the good side, and then using rugby hold for the other, so he was laying on the same side, more me that moved!!

with increasing the milk in the left breast. When you feed on the right side, express from the left, if you express while feeding it is much more effective let down reflex and more milk produced, and this will increase the milk in this side.

Alternatively, start on the right, express on the left til flow going well, then switch to the left side. This might help, if by any chance it is just a let-down issue on this side.

Doesn't sound like self weaning, when they get older, they get much more efficient at feeding, so spend less time at the breast, also get much more distracted by things around, and less likely to fall asleep. Enjoy the quick efficient feed times!

littledinaco Wed 10-May-17 22:15:10

It's very unusual for a baby that age to self wean, I wouldn't have thought it's that.

It is quite common for them to have a preferred side! If you can get him on when they are sleepy or have just woken up then you may have more luck him taking his least favourite side. It's probably just a little phase though.

mineofuselessinformation Wed 10-May-17 22:18:14

Have you tried the rugby hold on the breast that he is less keen on?
The difference in positioning might help.
Fwiw, mine always preferred one breast to the other.... No clue as to why.

WLmum Wed 10-May-17 22:20:45

Dd3 did this too - I found rugby balling her on the left helped. I think it was a bit of a vicious circle that the left had slower flow which decreased as she fed less from it. Managed to feed her for 3.5 years though so we must have got over it!

mummabearfoyrbabybears Wed 10-May-17 22:33:50

My DS4 never liked my left boob. I persevered for six months then gave up so he fed for the final 18 months exclusively on the right. I was never as comfy with him on the left. I fidgeted more and I thought it was just that and as he got bigger it just became more uncomfortable for us both. It was never a problem feeding from one and he is a big chunky bubba!

Lilllian34 Thu 11-May-17 07:17:41

Morning everyone...thanks for the replies. I think a few of you have hit the nail on the head and it's a combination of things....I always feel uncomfortable feeding him on the left and the bigger he is getting the harder I'm finding it. Also my let down reflex seems to be getting really slow? I used to feel it straight away, now sometimes can't feel it at all? Not sure if less milk or stress because I'm worrying about it? It's as if he latched on but then is too impatient to wait for milk and gets angry πŸ˜• The rugby ball position has helped over the last few days so he's still lying on same side! last night at bedtime he completely refused both boobs, wouldn't even latch on, crying, arching back and pulling away. I decided to try a bottle (which he never takes) and he drained a full 7oz! Cudnt believe it and I spent all evening crying thinking that was the end of our nursing relationship...anyway he fed overnight from right boob πŸ˜€...and this morning he has actually quite happily fed from left boob? Can't work out what's going on! My supply is up/down like a yoyo! Maybe combination feeding is the way forward? X

Lilllian34 Thu 11-May-17 07:25:29

Littledinaco I've just read the article you that's completely what's happening to me isn't it! So combination feeding maybe won't be the best idea!
I have been doing gentle sleep training too...encouraging him to self settle with dummy rather than nursing back to sleep every 2hours. Maybe that hasn't helped according to that article? Although I've still been feeding him 2-3 times overnight which at 6months I thought was reasonable? X

littledinaco Thu 11-May-17 09:06:25

It's completely up to you whether you want to combination feed but there is no reason to unless that's what you want. Many people combination feed and go on to feed for a long time but it can lead to early weaning as can using a dummy, although there's nothing wrong with that either if that's what works for you.

It sounds like it could be a nursing strike?

If you do use bottles make sure you do 'paced feeding' as this should help your DS not to get a bottle preference. Also look up the 'top up trap' as bottles will have an affect on your supply, although I would have thought your supply was well established by 6 months.

Are you on any of the breastfeeding groups on Facebook? They are really good for having a read through and seeing what's normal. It's so hard as very few people breastfeed at this age so you often don't have much to compare to.

willitbe Thu 11-May-17 09:21:17

Lillian, good to hear that the article that littledinaco linked was helpful. Did you read the nursing strike link on the page too?

It is definitely not the end of your nursing relationship, it is just a little blip that is common. It might mean you have to cut all bottles out and reduce use of dummies for a while.

More offering of the breast to keep supply ample and letting the switch from nursing to sleep be delayed a little, til he is over this little time of fussing. Think about alternative ways other than bottle, if supplementing is needed, and if you do supplement, then try to express to keep up your supply too.

Just remember that this is a common problem at this age, and it does pass fairly quickly!

Patchouli666 Thu 11-May-17 09:47:26

Rather than holding him across your body to feed from your left feed him as you do from your right but pushed over to your left boob so in effect his body is at a right angle with yours and then if he does have a sore mouth on the one side he may find it more comfortable to be fed in the same direction as from his preferred boob. He may alsobe fooled into thinking he is being fed from his favourite boob even if there is no physical reason for it and the milk will come back in and then he won't be as fussy.

Lilllian34 Thu 11-May-17 10:26:32

Thank you for taking the time to reply's so nice to have some support because like you say...most people seem to stop breast feeding around the 3-4 month mark and unfortunately a lot of my friends/family (unintentionally) make me feel like I need to switch to bottles as he's 'old' now and he needs to sleep better πŸ™„
Don't get me wrong...the 2hourly waking to feed back to sleep was getting very exhausting, hense why I encouraged the self settling with dummy. Never realised it would cause issues with him feeding tho! In 2 weeks he has gone from a boobie monster (as I fondly call him!) to going on what looks like a 'nursing strike!'
I haven't read the link yet about that but I certainly will when I get chance. He has just nursed to sleep for a nap so I feel happier that maybe we can get passed this πŸ™πŸ» I'll definitely try the different positions to get him back of the left boob...or I guess I just use that side during the night when he's sleepy and seems less fussed.
...sorry for the questions but would you ladies say at 6.5months it's normal for him to just feed a couple of times during the day? I worry about dehydration?...maybe I should offer boiled cool water with his food (he doesn't have much yet we just started weaning 2-3 weeks ago) x

CottonSock Thu 11-May-17 10:29:30

Mine did this. She got over it after a while and now my supply is back. I used to make her have the resisted boob first before offering other. She wasn't impressed but took a bit if hungry

Backhometothenorth Sat 13-May-17 20:39:31

Ref dehydration he doesn't need extra water if he's feeding on demand or 5ish times in 24 hours but it's fine to offer with food anyway . I usually take a nuby 'grip n sip' cup of water along when we're out so DD can join in with the older children eating and drinking. You're doing a great job OP- I know how difficult it is when you're surrounded by family members that don't really understand breastfeeding.

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