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Baby prefers one breast over the other - any advice?

(10 Posts)
JBrd Thu 18-Aug-11 16:45:46

DS is 12 weeks old, and I have to do mixed feeding due to my milk never really coming after an emergency c-section. This has been going well so far, DS has been happily feeding from both breasts and then taking a bottle afterwards at each feed.
But in the last couple of days, he has started refusing to feed from the right breast. He's always fed better of the left one anyway, but has not done the complete refusal like he does now. To make it more confusing, he doesn't refuse it at every feed, sometimes I can persuade him to take the right breast, but more and more often he won't - he literally arches away from it and gets very upset. I've tried both cradle hold and rugby/football hold, it makes no difference.
I find this really upsetting, and it's getting to the point that I'm considering giving up bf altogether - which I really don't want, considering how difficult it was to establish it and keep it going in the first place! I'm happy to do the mixed feeding, but am not sure if I have the strength to keep it up if it keeps getting more difficult like this... I have called the NCT breastfeeding helpline, but am still waiting for them to get back to me.

Has anyone had a similar experience? What did you do? Any advice is appreciated!

Cosmosis Thu 18-Aug-11 17:19:32

have you tried feeding him on the "bad" side when he is really sleepy? they can sometimes feed then when they won't normally.

JBrd Thu 18-Aug-11 22:09:27

Yes, and he is sometimes OK to take it then, but it doesn't really seem to depend on him being tired or not...

Casmama Thu 18-Aug-11 22:11:57

I think I would keep trying different positions, how about feeding lying down? I think my ds did this for a while at one point be seemed to get over it after a few days - they're funny creatures babies! Good luck

PicaK Fri 19-Aug-11 19:40:10

Is there anything wrong that would mean being held in that position is painful or uncomfortable for him?

It's doubtful because you try different positions for that side I know - but worth checking.

If he likes your left breast best I presume he is lying on his right hand side?

Could you try feeding him from your right breast, with him still lying on his right hand side. Kind of tucked under your right arm, feet away from your body, his feet maybe resting on a cushion, IYSWIM??

HipHopOpotomus Fri 19-Aug-11 22:10:47

Dd 14 weeks is the same. She will feed from both sides but def prefers the left. I think she is more comfy that way. She will feed from right but if she is upset and hungry she won't go to the right boob at all, and then snuggles down and tucks into the left.

I'm not stressing about it and my boobs seem to be ok with it. I feed lying down through the night and she's happy to Fred from the right then.

It's a mysterious quirk. I really hope you can find a way to work this out so you can keep feeding. Don't stress about it and good luck.

pyjamalover Sat 20-Aug-11 09:48:58

really don't stress about it, my little monkey is nearly 9m now and often has phases when he prefers one side. Even now he relaxes more on the left. Just keep offering the 'bad' side, maybe try at the start of a feed when he's hungry?

as with all these things it will pass. apparently they can hear your heartbeat better on the left which is why they often prefer it!

JBrd Mon 22-Aug-11 15:20:00

Thanks for your replies and reassurance! I've now managed to speak to a breastfeeding counsellor, and she pretty much said what you've all described, too! Apparently, this really is a very common problem, and it's perfectly possible to feed from just one breast, if necessary. She recommended repeating the skin-to-skin again like just after the birth, when we were establishing bf, and then gently guiding DS towards the right breast. Haven't done it yet, but will give it a try!

You're right, it's not worth getting too stressed about, if that is what he wants to do, then be it!

Amykins Tue 23-Aug-11 13:39:10

The very same thing happened to me, except it was my left breast that my dd was unhappy with. I was also very distressed about it (had pnd so was bit distressed generally anyway). Was all just a phase though; when finally managed to relax a bit (difficult with screaming baby and anxiety) it sorted itself out.

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