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One boob or two?

(22 Posts)
Metrobaby Tue 11-May-04 09:59:52

I keep reading contradicting advice. When bf - do you give just 1 boob per feed or offer both ?

SoupDragon Tue 11-May-04 10:01:52

I thought you offered both.

JeniN Tue 11-May-04 10:11:50

I generally offered both, because dd fed for ages - usually half an hour plus on first and then 15 mins plus on second. But if your babe generally only wants one, then I guess you could just offer one per feed.

toddlerbob Tue 11-May-04 10:12:48

It depends. I had a windy baby so I only offered 1 within a 3 hour period, then swapped for the next 3 hours. For night feeds he only ever got one because I would fall asleep.

Now he is older he gets 1 boob as a snack and 2 boobs before bed.

I spoke to a HV last week who was insisting there is never a time you don't offer both and your baby will starve if you don't. I think you can be a little more flexible than that - I'm not convinced that she ever breastfed.

elliott Tue 11-May-04 10:19:19

metrobaby - how old is your baby?
ds2 is 5 months and always has both sides. Occasionally when he was younger he would only need one boob at the early morning feed. And in the early days when they feed all the time I would keep going on one boob for up to an hour then change over.

hewlettsdaughter Tue 11-May-04 10:19:44

I have generally been offering one, then the same one again if dd comes off. If she still seems hungry after that I offer the other.

tiktok Tue 11-May-04 10:34:11

No rules - follow what the baby seems to want which may be different on different occasions!

It's a good idea to offer 2, unless you know from experience the baby never ever wants it.

Metrobaby Tue 11-May-04 10:55:57

Elliott - my ds is almost 3 weeks old now . He tends to be on the 1st for around half an hour, and then about 10-15 mins or so on the second (a bit like like JeniN's dd). This tends to last him between 3-4hrs until the next feed.

MrsDoolittle Tue 11-May-04 11:03:58

I think you just need to make sure that baby is getting both fore milk and hind milk. Feeding slows down when they are getting hind milk and apparently your boobs are never empty.
I feed dd on one up to half an hour and then if she doesn't settle I'll offer her the other. Sometimes it takes a little while for her brain to get the message that she is full!

Ghosty Tue 11-May-04 11:10:53

Depends on the time of day ...
In the morning DD seems content with just one ... then later on in the day she has two. I tend to offer the one she fed on last, first IYKWIM? And then when she gets fretful and bobs on and off I offer her the other one ... If I don't 'empty' a breast completely then I get a bit sore ...

californiagirl Tue 11-May-04 16:00:13

I think the HV is nuts, as I offer a 2nd breast only when DD gets frustrated on the first, which only ever happens during growth spurts. I tried offering both for the first week, and she regarded the 2nd one as an insulting attempt to keep her from sleeping. She's 9 weeks and moving up the centiles, despite having taken both breasts maybe 10 times in her whole life. Listen to the baby. I stopped taking advice seriously after reading two lists of the 10 most common errors, one of which inluded "leaning forward instead of back" and the other included "leaning back instead of forward".

I'd offer two for a while, and stop if either the baby doesn't take the 2nd, or the baby has green poop and lots of gas (too much foremilk).

dinosaur Tue 11-May-04 16:01:42

I found it was very rare with either DS that they could completely empty one boob, so generally I just did one per feed.

motherinferior Tue 11-May-04 16:05:04

I do both, except in the morning when I keep the more productive one for expressing. But don't stick to my advice!

MrsDoolittle Tue 11-May-04 16:05:46

What about really yellow poo, californiagirl? She is also windy - both ends!

JeniN Tue 11-May-04 16:22:22

yellow poo totally normal...esp for breastfed babies i think

2babies Tue 11-May-04 16:26:19

That is the question. Metrobaby, you would think that given that women have been breastfeeding since the beginning of humankind that there would be an agreement about this. So, the very fact that there is no consensus, in my opinion, means that it does really depend on the baby. I myself offered only 1 boob per feed for my older child, and yet I offer both to my infant now. I think it is a good idea to offer both and see whether your baby rejects the second.
Californiagirl, LOL at your post.

hercules Tue 11-May-04 16:27:01

Only ever offered one boob and never noticed a hungry baby or needing more.

suedonim Tue 11-May-04 16:52:18

I think my offspring would have liked to feed off three, four, or maybe more, boobs! I couldn't have got away with one side only, that's for sure. It's horses for courses - some babies want one, some want both sides.

2babies Tue 11-May-04 17:21:50

ROFL, Suedonim
I remember seeing DD sucking on a round peg that stuck out of the wooden chair leg once. . . Could she possibly have thought that milk would come out of that?

acnebride Tue 11-May-04 20:25:07

this is a great relief for me this thread... both my dm and my mil, who had all their babies in the sixties, asked why I wasn't swapping from one breast to another every 10 mins. This got a dusty answer from me as at the time I was having a lot of trouble with latching on so didn't fancy doing it more than I had to, plus ds usually seemed fine with one even if it took an hour plus. But I've wondered ever since if I should have done that, since I've ended up on formula-heavy mixed feeding. I guess the swapping advice was current at the time...

suedonim Tue 11-May-04 20:36:38

Anything's possible, 2Babies! A friend is rearing a lamb rejected by its mother. The poor thing has been imprinted with a wooden fence post and if there's no bottle around it sucks away merrily at the nearest post!!

Utka Wed 12-May-04 21:31:50


The '10 mins each side' & 'swapping' ideas date from our parents' and grandparents' generations, according to the b/f counsellor at my local hospital, but the danger with this is that the babies only ever get the foremilk, and not the calorie-rich stuff that follows.

My understanding is that breast milk gradually changes in make-up as the feed progresses, and that, although you can't strictly time things, you do need to ensure that the baby is taking long enough on one side before switching to the other. I was told to gently squeeze my nipple to check whether there was any milk readily available, before switching, as otherwise, baby might not have 'emptied' the first one (I agree though with the previous comment that you technically never actually empty it).

However, I do sympathise, as dd2 takes just 15 mins max to feed. At the beginning I kept trying to force her to have more as I was convinced she couldn't be getting to the hindmilk. However, my HV reassured me as dd has consistently put on weight and had the appropriate no. of poohy and wet nappies.

To be sure though, I wait until she's come off the first boob of her own accord, then burp her and offer her the second. Sometimes I'll change her nappy and even give her a bit of a rest before offering the second one. However, I always check to see that the first one is genuinely 'empty' - if not, she gets offered that one again.

Much seems to depend on her mood - whether she can be bothered to continue sucking on the first one. If she bobs on and off, I take it that she's had enough, but I do then try the other one. Quite often she goes for this with gusto - suggesting that she needs more thirst quenching stuff than the thicker stuff.


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