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Has anyone successfully breastfed from one side only?

(10 Posts)
Sara79 Sat 25-Oct-08 14:08:00

My first baby is 1 week old today and after a very rocky start she is finally latching on a starting to breastfeed. The problem is that she will only feed from my left breast, the midwives have tried to help me get her to feed from the right one, but she isn't interested and just gets upset everytime i try (as do I too!). I am desperate to breastfeed for as long as possible, and this seems like a real stumbling block for us. Has anyone else had a baby that would only feed from one breast? and if so how long could you breastfeed for? did it mean that you couldn't feed for as long as you wanted? and did the milk dry up in the breast that you weren't using, and if so when?

Also, I have noticed a really hard lump quite high in the breast that my baby is feeding from. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't there this time last week, so i presume that it's linked to breastfeeding. Is this common? or should i go to the doctors?

I'd appreciate any comments/advice that you could give me. I've found breastfeeding really hard so far, but I really want to continue, and to hear that I'm not the only one with this problem would be relief!

Sara x

TinkerBellesMum Sat 25-Oct-08 14:31:36

It's only a week in, she may take it yet. Keep offering and when you're both a little more confident with feeding she will take it. I think people tend to become a little "handed" at the start, you get used to doing it one way and it feels awkward doing it the other way, like writing. If you feeding her comfortably across your chest on the side you are using, try using a rugby hold on the other side (or vice versa) or try feeding her lying in bed.

In answer to your question it is possible as women do it after a single masectomy and it's the same as breastfeeding twins. Your body will learn the supply and demand and adapt to it.

If the lump has come since you started it's likely to just be milk you can feel. Use your fist or a wide tooth comb and massage your breast from the lump towards the nipple and that should help ease it. If it gets too uncomfortable or you start getting infection symptoms (high temperature, feeling sick, red and hot skin etc) then get it looked at.

GrapefruitMoon Sat 25-Oct-08 14:34:55

I developed an abscess in one breast when I was bfing ds2. I had to have surgery and so didn't feel up to continuing on that side but carried on feeding him on the other side only. I did supplement with formula though but he was 4 months old at that stage....

AccidentalMum Sat 25-Oct-08 14:41:15

Both my DDs have shown a marked preference for one boob. I start them off everytime it is convenient (ie quiet, private) on the boob they don't like and use the rugby ball position (assuming they like cradle hold on their prefered boob) so their head turns the way they are used too. Cranial Oesteopathy has helped too.

The hard area could be an unemptied area/ lobe. If you experiment with other feeding positions that will help to empty all parts of the breast.

I did meet a lady who exBFed from one boob.

Mij Sat 25-Oct-08 14:45:00

Don't want to repeat PPs reassurances, but just to add that in some cultures (far eastern, can't remember which) women always feed from just one breast - something to do with the way clothing opens. Was gobsmacked when I found out - breastfeeding culture is just so fascinating...

Good luck! And well done for hanging in there. grin

greenlawn Sat 25-Oct-08 17:24:17

One of mine showed a definite preference - I used to try and even things out a bit as I was worried I'd end up with one bigger than the other! But it didn't happen despite bf for over a year.

Someone else mentioned the rugby ball hold; I used to use this to "fool" my ds into thinking he was feeding from the preferred side ( I wondered if the problem was not my boobs but that he preferred lying on one side).

The hard area sounds like milk building up, try massage as already suggested or a hot flannel/shower if it gets uncomfortable. If its painful I would definitely mention to your mw or dr. Good luck.

pistachio Sat 25-Oct-08 17:33:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Deaby Sat 25-Oct-08 17:54:31

I had EXACTLY the same problem as you, where my LO preferred the left breast to the right. The cause was that my left boob is slightly bigger and had more milk and a faster let down than my right. I perservered and kept feeding her from the right breast. It did (and still does) take longer for her to empty it, but she's got used to it now and is more patient- shes now 4 months old. So keep at it, otherwise the milk in your right may lessen.

With regards to the hard lump, it could be a blocked duct. Is it sore to touch? Ask a midwife or health visitor to look at it for you, if it is a blocked duct it can be gently massaged or kneaded to unblock it.

Keep up the good work, Breast feeding is hard and many a times I was ready to give up, but my desire to give my baby the best start in life and the support of my fab hubby kept me going! Your milk will regulate around 6 weeks and it will be a doddle! Godd Luck. smile

BlessThisMess Sun 26-Oct-08 01:00:13

My friend has had 3 kids, now pg with the 4th, and all so far have only fed from one breast. They're strong healthy kids so they obviously got enough! Well done and keep at it - it'll all settle down soon.

JoyS Sun 26-Oct-08 11:42:02

My SIL fed my nephew from one side until he was almost 3. Otherwise the rugby hold is very good for tricking them into taking the 'yucky' wink breast.

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