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One side only - is this sustainable?

(16 Posts)
TabithaTwitchet Tue 19-Jul-11 11:18:08

After lots of struggling with BF, I seem to have somehow ended up only feeding DD (nearly 6 weeks) from one side.
It is such a struggle to latch her on the other side, she often refuses to latch, on a good day I get her to feed from the right once, so I am pumping from that side about 4 times a day and giving it to her in a bottle, and properly breastfeeding her on the other side (considerably more than 4 times a day.)
Finally I feel a bit more on top of things, DD is gaining weight properly at last, breastfeeding seems like it might even become enjoyable...

Is feeding on one side only sustainable in the long run? I'm already lopsided, but I don't mind that. I'm hoping that eventually she'll be able to latch properly on the right too, which is why I keep trying once or twice every day to get her on, but as I say, usually she'll have none of it. (We are awaiting 2nd opinion about tongue tie, think that is part of the problem why she won't latch)

If I keep pumping the right side, will it keep my supply up enough if she eventually does latch on that side? I express around 50-90ml each time, so somewhere between 200 and 360ml per day. Do I need to pump more often? I would rather she gets most of her milk from "proper" breastfeeding, rather than from a bottle, so I want to just maintain supply in the right - or is that a stupid idea?

Would love to hear from anyone else who has only fed on one side smile

posterofagirl Tue 19-Jul-11 11:42:18

No real advice from me but I am in the same boat.

My lo is 5 weeks old and exclusively feeds from the right. I pump from the left and have managed to keep supply fairly stable pumping 4 times a day.
My midwife, hv and breastfeeding consultant have all assured me that it's possible to feed from 1 side permanently so I think it should be fine.

tiktok Tue 19-Jul-11 12:01:19

Yes, it's sustainable - have known a number of women who have done this.

It seems to be important to have established a good supply first.

TruthSweet Tue 19-Jul-11 12:21:19

As you say that you want to just bf rather than express, bottle feed & bf, you could try dropping one bottle feed and just bfing from the 'good' side for that feed. If you dropped a bottle feed every week/few days your supply on that side should soon pick up and match baby's needs.

If you needed to offer a little top up after it would not be a bad thing as long as you were lowering the amount in the top-up each day (for example offering 20mls down to 15mls down to 10mls down to 0mls).

If you wanted to continue expressing on the 'other' side as an insurance policy in case she does suddenly take to it then you would have a nice freezer stash for going out/starting solids/coffee creamerwink.

Have you heard of cranial osteopathy? I have heard it has good results with babies who have a side preference if the preference is down to tension/tt. I don't think it would help if the preference is due to milk flow (fast/slow) or behavioural (e.g. they associate the right hand side with being forced on perhaps).

Miggsie Tue 19-Jul-11 12:25:38

Yes, I did this, because my arms are such that I could only hold her one side once she reached a certain weight and I fed for 2 years! However, I did pump both sides for quite some time when I was expressing then slowly faded out one side.

TabithaTwitchet Tue 19-Jul-11 16:56:58

Reassuring to hear this has worked for others.

Posterofagirl we really are in the same boat, our babies are even the same age!

Interesting idea about the cranial osteopathy, couple of other people have suggested it too, so might look into it. Funnily enough DD1 also hated the right side, bit worried I started off expecting to have trouble with it and it was self fulfilling.

Tiktok - how can I tell if I have established a good supply first? Is it just wet/dirty nappies (we have loads) and weight gain (now seems to be picking up after shaky start).

I managed to feed from both sides until DS weaned but he never really liked the left side so I have fed him from just the right side for the last 8 months. There is still occasionally milk from the left (if he cries!) so I could probably get the supply back if I needed to. If I were you I would express to keep up your supply from the side you aren't feeding from and freeze it, and try to feed from that side every few days. Cranial osteopathy is worth a look too, it helped my DS sleep through after 6 months and I never thought it would!

MademoiselleDuPont Tue 19-Jul-11 18:42:00

I am feeding DS from one side only as the other nipple is inverted and he cant latch on. He is ten weeks old and gaining weight pretty well. I fed DD now 10 from one breast only as well and did it for eighteen months.

twinklegreen Tue 19-Jul-11 19:59:50

Not sure this applies to your situation, but in general terms your supply is properly 'established' at about 14-16 weeks.

I have come across many women who have successfully fed from one side only.

Have you spoken to a breastfeeding counsellor or peer supporter, in person, about the latch on the 'bad' side. They may be offer you a few pointers on positions you could try to encourage her to latch onto this side.

narmada Tue 19-Jul-11 20:00:30

Just skimmed so not sure whether someone else has already meantioned this... but DS would only feed from my right side if I held him as if he was feeding from the left breast IYSWIM - sort of a rugby hold on the right side and normal cross-cradle type hold on left. Might be worth a try if you've not already.

RufousBartleby Tue 19-Jul-11 20:04:28

Definitely sustainable - think about Mothers of twins.

I would try to keep your supply going on the other side so your options are still open. I'm not sure if expressing by itself would do this, I think you would have to continue trying to latch your baby on.

I know someone who fed from one side a lot more than the other and they did end up very lop-sided, but if you feel this wouldn't bother you, I would go for it.

Tillyscoutsmum Tue 19-Jul-11 20:08:23

Both of mine were "lefties" grin It was sustainable but I stopped b'fing 12 months ago and I am ridiculously lopsided blush

mustbeanobdie Tue 19-Jul-11 20:12:32

I breastfed for a whole year on just the right side!!!!! I took to calling the left one 'bad boob' blush

SybilBeddows Tue 19-Jul-11 20:14:19

yeah I just gave up on the right with dc3. I did get lop-sided but 6 months on from stopping they're both the same size again.

twinklegreen Tue 19-Jul-11 20:17:35

I have fed 3 children off both sides, yet I'm still lopsided hmm

posterofagirl Wed 20-Jul-11 12:49:31

grin @ bad boob, I call it this too!

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