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Feeding problems on one side

(39 Posts)
bumperlicious Tue 18-Sep-07 13:51:45

Hi, dd is 13 weeks and she is having problems feeding from my left side.

It manifests in a couple of ways. Sometimes she just can't latch on, she opens her mouth but doesn't clamps down. She gets upset and frustrated and goes all stiff. Sometimes this can be before the feed has started, sometime halfway through.

Secondly she doesn't seem to be satisfied from that breast recently. Normally I only feed from one breast but the past day or so if I feed from the left she falls asleep, I wake up up, she feeds a bit more then falls asleep and comes off but when I put her on the right (as I knew he wasn't done) she gulped it down.

I just worry that the less she feeds from the left the less milk I will produce which will make it worse.

Saw the bfing counsellor today and she couldn't give me any answers, just wondering if anyone here could?


dissle Tue 18-Sep-07 13:58:03

when i had this problem, i was advised to fool my baby into thinking he was on the other breast by turning him round.
tucking him under my arm if you will. this worked for me.
apparently its quite common for them to have a prefered side.

bumperlicious Tue 18-Sep-07 14:19:41

Thanks dissie, that's good idea, but I'm just not sure if she is even getting enough from the left side.

Beachcomber Tue 18-Sep-07 14:29:14

Have you noticed if she has a tendancy to turn her head more to one side than the other, in her car seat for example?

Sometimes babies who have trouble feeding on one side have a bit of stiffness in their necks left over from their birth.

My DD2 had this and was sorted out by an osteopath. Just a suggestion.

bumperlicious Tue 18-Sep-07 14:34:28

Hmm, not so i've noticed but i will study her closely now grin. she has never liked the left side but it's only recently become more of problem.

bumperlicious Tue 18-Sep-07 19:31:18

OK, it just got worse, she wouldn't or couldn't feed from either side Fortunately I had a bottle of ebm, but I was saving it so dh could do the night feed and I could go to bed early Don't know what I would've done if I hadn't have had the ebm. DH just suggested getting a carton of formula as a back up but I really don't want to

bumperlicious Tue 18-Sep-07 19:32:03

Sorry, just realised that's a lot of , I'm just tired and frustrated.

AllBuggiedOut Tue 18-Sep-07 19:37:43

Stick with it - I remember my tearful conversations with the NCT breastfeeding counsellor when DS1 was 14 weeks and wouldn't BF but would take the bottle of ebm. But it passed. He was very anti the left side too - and just like dissle, was helped by being turned round. I used to hold exactly as I would for feeding right side and lean myself over. Not terribly comfy or elegant, but meant he did feed from both sides at least a little! I always fed both sides at every feed, starting with his least favourite. I know it's easy to say, but try not to panic just because of a couple of bad feeds. She might just be tired/not hungry/teeting etc etc. Good luck.

bumperlicious Tue 18-Sep-07 20:58:50

Thanks for the advice and support guys x

Lio Tue 18-Sep-07 21:00:55

And just to have in the back of your mind, even though this is obviously not what we all hope will happen, I successfully fed ds from one side for 9 months. I let the left hand side dry up after repeated problems. Hope you can get some better advice xxx

bumperlicious Tue 18-Sep-07 21:03:25

Thanks lio, did you have lopsided boobs from doing that?

funnypeculiar Tue 18-Sep-07 21:04:34

Defn look to see if there's any stiuffness in the neck - dd did this, and I kind of didn't worry too much. Turned out she had mild torticollis (stiffening of the neck muscle). Can be treated with physio & mild versions are apparently quite common. Watch to see if she always sleeps with her head on one side/puts her head to the same side when lying down.

Good luck & hope it gets easier soon smile

coleyboy Tue 18-Sep-07 21:10:21

Ds done this, would only feed in the rugby ball position on my right side and even then the latch was terrible.

Went to see a cranial osteopath who straight away pointed out that ds couldn't turn his head fully to the left (not quite sure how I didn't notice!) After just one session he could turn his head and he could latch on tummy to tummy on both sides.

bumperlicious Tue 18-Sep-07 21:12:28

If she ever deigns to feed from me again I will try the rugby ball thing. If that works out then I will take her to the CO. Thanks for the replies x

jaynehater Tue 18-Sep-07 21:19:21

I've posted this before, apologies for boring on, but dd1 had such marked preferences boob-wise that the HV and I dubbed left boob 'brocolli' and right boob 'apple pie'

I agree with the rugby ball thing - what also worked for us personally was feeding lying down - this drained some of the angsty "Will you just eat ?" vibe, and seemed to affect the angle or something, I'm not sure, but there was a definite marked difference in how she fed, so worth a try, maybe? Hope it goes well for you smile

Lio Tue 18-Sep-07 21:20:04

hmm, don't think they are lopsided, kind of huge so difficult to tell! Have fed anotehr child since (second one liked both boobs smile)

jaynehater Tue 18-Sep-07 21:27:14


How do you spell that?

(Sorry, dictionary highjack blush)

daisyandbabybootoo Tue 18-Sep-07 21:41:51

bumper...just wanted to lend my support. Sorry I've no ideas, but am rather picking up tips as well as babyboo is also very fussy on the left and has problems latching(hence recent bout of mastitis) I hope you can get some rest. Try not to worry and maybe have a babymoon in bed with her tomorrow with lots of skin to skin?

daisyandbabybootoo Tue 18-Sep-07 21:45:40

Just had a quick look on good old Kellymom and found a couple of articles.....

bumperlicious Tue 18-Sep-07 21:46:10

Thanks daisy but I've got my anti-bf mother coming up tomorrow so babymoon will have to wait. At least it will take the pressure off if she is crying.

daisyandbabybootoo Wed 19-Sep-07 17:09:42

bumping for you, bumper smile

bumperlicious Wed 19-Sep-07 17:15:48

Thanks daisy, it's happened with every feed today, she's refused every feed (even though she is hungry). I have eventually fed her. I try and not make a big deal out of it, and if she won't go on, jiggle her around to try and calm her down a bit. She has gone on eventually but it's stressful.

It's both sides now, not just restricted to the left.

bumperlicious Wed 19-Sep-07 20:28:31

Ok, so the last feed I started her on the left, latched on ok, but after about 5 mins started getting upset and punching the boob. Put her on the right and she felt much more securely latched on and guzzled away. Just don't know what is wrong. Could it be low supply?

bumperlicious Wed 19-Sep-07 20:39:26

Just tried expressing on the left side and not a drop!

NotQuiteCockney Wed 19-Sep-07 20:50:29

Just because you can't express milk doesn't mean there isn't any in there.

I have a few thoughts:
- a preference is normal, and lots of people feed one-sided. My children both preferred my left breast over my right. My left was bigger to begin with, between feeding DS1 and DS2, they went back to only a minimal difference.
- it's possible you may not be letting down on the left side when she feeds from it, because you are tense (can you feel your let-down? Mine always hurt like mad around this age). Could you do some yoga breathing, or imagining milk spurting out, or just watch tv or otherwise distract yourself?

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