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Breastfeeding on one side or both? urgent advice needed!

(21 Posts)
PiperG Sun 16-Aug-09 10:46:30

My sister has a two week old DS and has been advised by midwife to feed only one side at each feed. I've got two little ones but can't quite remember what I did - I'm sure I would have offered the other breast though too, if they seemed to want more - what does everyone do now?? There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice. My sister's DS ends up feeding for an hour or more on one side and she gets very sore and surely after a while a lot of that is not him sucking but just comfort ...

IwishIhadtimetoreadnewspapers Sun 16-Aug-09 10:52:40

I have fed both of my ds's (aged 3 and 1)from one side at a time.

They both had periods (in the evening mainly) of feeding for prolonged periods but they both had a great latch and I never got sore. Has she had the latch checked?

Bf is not just about providing milk. A huge part of it is providing comfort to your lo so imo it doesn't matter if a lot of comfort sucking goes on (providing of course that it's not causing problems)

There is no right and wrong though. If she feels that her ds still appears to want more after a good feed from one side then she could offer the other.

Hopefully someone will be along soon who can offer more than just anecdotal advice.

MummyEve Sun 16-Aug-09 10:57:02

I used both always every time!

foreverchanges Sun 16-Aug-09 11:06:14

you feed on one side so that baby gets the fore milk and then the hind milk .think its ok to feed from both on an extra long feed but usually it should be one side and next feed other side

Ineedsomesleep Sun 16-Aug-09 11:26:50

Ask her to check with the Midwife the source of the advice, just ask her somethink like "oh can you just tell me where you read that research, I'd really like to read more about it myself".

I've done this and it stops them giving out advice that isn't evidence based.

Tell her to get in touch with a bfing counsellor straight away. Bfing shouldn't make you sore and she needs urgent help before it gets worse.

logrrl Sun 16-Aug-09 11:30:50

Hi. I'm no expert, just another BF mummy but here's my tuppence....I was told to "offer" both so DS (19wks) at the start, probably to help with supply, and he now ALWAYS takes both. Infact, I'm sure that he moderates what he takes from the first knowing that the second is on its way grin. I totally agree with Iwish that it's important not to forget that BF is not just about FEEDING, so if baby wants to suck, I usually oblige as I think this is normal and provides comfort and therefore helps with bonding. I have to say, I've never had any bothersome or ongoing nipple discomfort, so I would also suggest she get her latch checked if this sort of sucking is a problem. Without meaning to annoy foreverchanges if your sister is at all anxious, then talk of fore milk and hind milk is probably going to make her more anxious and confused. If baby comes off itself happy and content then IMO and from my MN education wink the "mix" is probably just right.

Aitchiswaitingforalegalopinion Sun 16-Aug-09 11:32:31

the advice that tiktok gives is to offer both if the baby is atill hungry, i think.

foreverchanges Sun 16-Aug-09 11:39:29

bf counselling here

phdlife Sun 16-Aug-09 11:44:20

you can offer, but that don't mean the baby "has to" - lord knows ds only did both sides once in 18m. dd takes both, but with a good hour between, and no persuading her otherwise hmm. ditto what everyone else said about the latch too.

foreverchanges Sun 16-Aug-09 11:45:47

i didnt let mine comfort suck for ages , i had to much too do. i think once they have had their feed they should need to comfort suck it just creates problems (sore nipples and clingy babies)

dont think the concept of foremilk and hind milk too difficult too understand ,it is the reason why you offer each breast separately thats what ive read anyway

foreverchanges Sun 16-Aug-09 11:47:26

sorry should nt need to comfort suck

traceybath Sun 16-Aug-09 11:48:16

Yes - agree with aitch and logrrl - i'm currently feeding dc3 (3wks) this way.

Aitchiswaitingforalegalopinion Sun 16-Aug-09 11:49:28

it's not foremilk and hindmilk, it's like the breast'warms up' and more fat with the watery milk comes through over time, as i understand it.

foreverchanges Sun 16-Aug-09 11:55:58

as long as baby is ok i think she shouldnt have to worry bout which side really

PinkTulips Sun 16-Aug-09 12:24:03

I only offer the second side if baby appears irritated by boob one but seems to want more.

I don't 100% agree with the concept of 'It only hurts if the latch is wrong', of my three only dd had a good latch yet because she also attached herself like a clam for hours on end she was the only one who made me sore. ds1 had an awful latch and ds2 is tongue tied so can't latch properly yet neither of them made me as sore as she did in the first few weeks.

In what way is she sore? Are her nipples cracked? Lansinoh is a godsend in that case. If she's sore and it feels like its inside the breast thrush or blocked ducts are possibilities. If she's bruised feeling it could well be the latch, a mismatch between the size of babies mouth and her nipples, baby's suck being too forceful. She really needs an expert to watch her feed and advise her as some of these sort themselves over time but some need a change in methods or outside help to relieve.

Does she feed in different positions? I found in the early days with all three if i fed only in one position it became uncomfortable, get her to switch between underarm, cradle hold and lying down as much as possible to see if there's any improvement.

DrCosyTiger Sun 16-Aug-09 13:25:32

You know what, PiperG? I really truly don't think it matters. I have received such conflicting advice on this - in hospital two different midwives even told me two different things within the space of a single feed. I started off offering both sides, but now (my DD is 5 months) I tend to use one at a time. I don't think it makes any difference to her wellbeing. If it is easier for your sister to offer both sides during a single feed, I think she should do that. Tbh, the more important thing I think is that she tries (if she can) to continue bf as this does have clear benefits over using formula, although I totally understand why many people go down the formula route.

Caz10 Sun 16-Aug-09 13:32:26

Foremilk and hindmilk don't really exist - it's as Aitch explains it, and if you search around on here, esp for tiktok's name, you'll find she explains it very clearly (better than I could!).

I think best practice bf advice is to offer both - some dcs never take both, some always do. Then start from the side you fed from least/last the next time (although again it's not the end of the world if you don't remember). So it would be (eg) left right, then right left, then left right etc.

thisisyesterday Sun 16-Aug-09 13:34:01

at 2 weeks i would always be offering the second side.
it will help with supply and ensure baby is getting enbough, but advice is to swap when baby finishes on the first side by himself iyswim? not to swap halfway through.

she shouldn't be gettign sore if he is latched correctly, however long he is staying attached.
if he isn't interested in the second side that's fine too

Caz10 Sun 16-Aug-09 13:42:52

And then when they get older they will pop off the 1st side on their own and shout THIS THIS while pointing madly at the second....or is that just mine?!! grin

My guess would be your sis's little one is not latched on properly - can she get to a BfN group or baby cafe or similar? They would check/help with latch, which would probably also improve the milk removal, thus speeding things up re length of feeds - although probably not by much at that age.

Babieseverywhere Mon 17-Aug-09 11:14:24

It is important that your sister offers both breasts at every feed at this early stage. As this regular stimulation will encourage the milk supply increase. The baby might not take more than one side and that is fine but it should be offered. Some babies will take more than 2 sides at a sitting and that is normal too.

Nothing wrong with nursing for comfort, however this should not make your sister sore.

Any discomfort/pain should be investigated in real life by a reasonable knowledgable midwife, breastfeeding support person.

It is hard to know who your sister meets in real life and if they are properly trained in breastfeeding. As a very brief rule of thumb, if they talk about balancing hind/fore milk or limiting time or frequency on the breast, you can bet they have very little knowledge of breastfeeding.

Good Luck

Ineedsomesleep Tue 18-Aug-09 20:29:40

Just wondering how your sister is getting on?

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