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how do I know when to swap breasts?

(12 Posts)
AmyInWonderland Sun 07-Apr-13 20:43:03

So how do I know when my three week old baby has drained one breast and needs more milk from the other? I'm really aware that she needs the hind milk so don't want to swap too soon but also want to make sure she's getting enough. Any tips?

BertieBotts Sun 07-Apr-13 20:50:33

Don't worry about fore/hindmilk, that theory is thought to be outdated now. Just follow your baby's cues smile If she comes off or starts to get fussy on one side, offer her the other side. It really doesn't matter if she only wants one side or both or even wants to swap back to the first again, or wants to flit between them.

It's also not majorly important to make sure you swap boobs at every feed, that's more for your comfort. I used to "weigh" mine in my hands to see which felt heavier grin

minipie Sun 07-Apr-13 21:04:01

marking place as I wonder this too, only DD is 5 months so you'd think I'd have worked it out by now! She does come off or get a bit fussy/distracted but I am not sure whether that is because boob 1 is empty or just because the flow has slowed or something else has caught her attention (she's at the distractable stage).

I think she prefers the faster flow of my right boob (always been lopsided!) and so often gives up on left boob before it's actually empty... but that just compounds the lopsided ness as it means left boob gets less stimulation.

MacMac123 Sun 07-Apr-13 21:42:37

Mini pie I could have written your response! Exactly the same on everything, including right boob preference!

ghoulelocks Sun 07-Apr-13 22:43:26

personally I've never experienced dd draining a breast, can feed twice in a row from same side and satisfy her. Just sharing in case this is you, she's never fussed or pulled away from the side she's on and thrived doing this.
I also like bertie sometimes grope weight my boobs to check which one to go with!

GrandPoohBah Mon 08-Apr-13 00:16:51

I find it easiest to check engorgement by feeling the sides of my boobs - how much they're sticking outwards, IYSWIM.

DD starts to pop off my nipple spontaneously when she has had enough on one side. When she has come off two or three times in quick succession (so I know she hasn't just decided that the tv/her brother/the cat is more interesting than my boob), then I swap sides.

Emilythornesbff Mon 08-Apr-13 04:46:15

Dd hardly ever feeds from both at each feed. Apart from the evening's cluster type feed when I need four or five grin and she just keeps fussing after a few minutes so I swap back and forth.

MusicalEndorphins Mon 08-Apr-13 05:09:47

it has been a long time since I had a baby, but I seem to recall 5 minutes on each side, with a burp in between. I know I always seemed to have a baby attached to me, so I think you get the hang of it over time.

AmyInWonderland Mon 08-Apr-13 07:54:13

Thanks everyone for your responses, she has been doing a fussing thing st the end of feeds so perhaps she does need more from second breast, will give a try but not worry if she's not interested

BertieBotts Mon 08-Apr-13 10:10:52

You don't need to worry about emptying/draining etc because it doesn't really work that way. Milk is always being produced and it doesn't get "stored" in the breasts or need time to refill. It feels this way in the early weeks as milk is produced to hormonal demand which means you get a lot of excess, once you switch to demand-driven-production, you won't usually get engorged or leak or feel "full" any more.

minipie Mon 08-Apr-13 13:15:49

that's interesting Bertie - I had read somewhere that a breast needs to be emptied for your body to get the message to increase supply, is that not true?

BertieBotts Mon 08-Apr-13 15:08:27

Well, sort of. But they are never really truly empty, it's sort of the other way around, milk is constantly produced but if it's left to build up then that sends the signal that you're making too much milk so you will start to produce less. But certainly the more you feed the more it sends a signal to make more, that's why babies want to feed a lot sometimes as a build up to a growth spurt.

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