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when to switch breasts??

(15 Posts)
blossom2 Wed 20-Jul-05 12:36:56

apologies for starting another thread, but i have a brastfeeding questions ...

DD2 feeds for 10-20 mins, then falls alseep for another 10-20 mins, tried to wake etc but to no avail. she then wakes and wants breast. this pattern carries on for about an hour (last night it was for 3 hours). so after the hour, i switch breasts.

Am i offering her the second breast too late, too early ??? is this normal and what are your thoughts on the situation ...

throckenholt Wed 20-Jul-05 12:40:47

um - maybe rather than letting her fall alseep take her off after 15 mins, wind her, and then try again on the other breast ?

Not much help really - mine never did that.

throckenholt Wed 20-Jul-05 12:41:33

by the way - apparently they find breastfeeding very tiring when they are little - this pattern is likely to change naturally as she gets a bit bigger.

tiktok Wed 20-Jul-05 12:47:48

Assuming this is a fairly newborn baby, blossom, yes? If so, this is normal....seems what you are doing is a reasonable response to it, but it doesn't really matter if you offer the second breast or the first again. It makes sense for both breasts to have similar stimuation over the day, and for neither side to go several hours between being 'used', but it's not crucial. Foremilk and hindmilk don't need 'engineering' and it all sorts itself out in most cases

blossom2 Wed 20-Jul-05 12:50:55

i'm trying to give one breast at least 2 hours rest so it has time to build up the milk ... sounds odd i know but at the back of my mind, i'm scared i both breasts will be empty when she wants milk ..... its all very strange and odd to me ...

lovinit Wed 20-Jul-05 13:09:40

Blossom2, I think we should exchange tel no's !!! This has also been something that always baffles me ! I try and keep DD on same breast as long as possible, as long as milk is there to get her to get hind milk, but then sometimes I think, that there isn;t any, take her off and then she bobs off to sleep ... it is hard to know what the right thing to do is !

blossom2 Wed 20-Jul-05 13:11:43

i know !!! and how do u know/make sure she is getting the hindmilk, when she's only been on the breast for 10 mins ?!?!

throckenholt Wed 20-Jul-05 13:13:34

your breasts won't run out - they will make more as the demand occurs.

You don't want to switch breasts every 5 minutes, but some people like to change after about 15-20 mins. With mine I normally fed on one side for one feed and then switched to the other for the next.

You will work out what suits you both over the next few weeks.

throckenholt Wed 20-Jul-05 13:14:48

blossom - just try and relax and let her take the lead over the next few days. Trust your body - it knows what it is doing even if you don't

tiktok Wed 20-Jul-05 13:16:31

But that's not how it works!! The more often you feed, the quicker the milk is made Two hourly should be fine, though, but if you fed every hour, you would have even more - feeding hourly makes more milk than feeding every two hours. Not that you would normally need to do this if your baby is happy otherwise, but mothers of twins might find they are doing this, and most mothers find they have a period of 'cluster feeding' where the baby is on and off, on and off, feeding very often.

Twin mothers need twice as much milk, and twice the stim. means they achieve this,

Milk supply is driven by frequent removal of milk. Leaving time 'for the breasts to fill up' is pointless, truly. Just because you feel 'fuller' after X hours, does not mean you are making more - there might be a little bit more in full breasts than soft ones, but not a great deal. And overall, over time, the quantity of milk made would be less.

Hope that helps a bit

tiktok Wed 20-Jul-05 13:17:03

Soirry, my post was to blossom, not throcken

tiktok Wed 20-Jul-05 13:18:26

blossom, throcken is right. Don't sweat about it. Hindmilk sorts itself don't need to keep her on for longer than she wants to in order to 'get' to it.

lovinit Wed 20-Jul-05 14:03:43

I wish there was a model made which showed breasst milk production ... I had always assumed that the more fuller the breast felt, the more milk there was and that if it was time for a feed and both breasts felt soft, then I panicked and thought that I ahd no milk.

Tiktok, are you a lactation consultant ? You seem to know so much abt BF ... Your comments have been so helpful

tiktok Wed 20-Jul-05 14:38:15

I'm a bfc with NCT, lovinit.

Yes, full breasts have more milk in them than soft breasts - but not all that much more. When breasts are full for a long(er) time, they send a message to the body 'stop making more milk'. This is done via the Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation, which is a protein. Unremoved milk accumulates this protein, so the longer breasts are left with more milk in them, the less milk is made. The converse is true.

Over time, leaving the breasts with milk unremoved, means the milk dwindles away.

Short gaps between feeds = more milk.
Long gaps between feeds = less milk.

It is all pro rata, but complicated by the fact that mothers' storage capacities differ (nothing to do with the size of the breasts, BTW). A mother with a small storage capacity and a baby with a large appetite will need to feed her baby more often, to make more milk, whereas a mother with a larger storage capacity and a baby with a smaller appetite will need to feed less often.

Add to this the fact that the less milk there is in the breast, the creamier it is.

So it makes absolutely no sense at all to feed according to the clock, either for frrequency or length of feed. Every mother and baby is a unique partnership and the only way to go (until bf is well-established, whch can take a variable amount of time) is to follow the baby's lead and *stop trying to regulate it* because you risk not having enough milk

Hope you are not now all blinded with science!

tiktok Wed 20-Jul-05 14:39:10

Soft, 'empty feeling' breasts can have plenty of milk in them, lovinit.

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