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Infant feeding

Swap breasts or drain one?

17 replies

Jellybabie3 · 06/11/2017 15:42

What do you do? Ds is 4weeks old and hungry all the time. Feeds almost every hour in the day abd 2-3 hours at night. Usually an hour per feed. He falls asleep alot so usually i swap breasts to wake him up. Im also conscious my left boob isnt his fave- it takes more effort to latch and its more uncomfortable for me as i am right handed and it strains ny neck.

I read somewhere that you should drain thd breast to get to thicker milk especially at night.

Any feedback what you do?

OP posts:
moreismore · 06/11/2017 15:46

Drain the breast then switch ideally. Try using a cushion or something under your arm on the less comfortable side so you can relax and less reliant on arm strength

EssentialHummus · 06/11/2017 15:48

^Yup. Google foremilk and hind milk.

akpounce · 06/11/2017 15:49

I used to swap but after talking to the HV i let her feed on one side until she unlatches herself, burp and then offer the other side. She doesn't always take it but that's ok i start on that side next time. Since doing this she has put on 240g in 6 days!

I use a breast feeding pillow called mybrestfriend which can be easily adjusted but try pillows or a boppy to make feeding more comfortable.

Jellybabie3 · 06/11/2017 15:50

Ok so keep putting him on the same breast. Sometimes its difficult to know when hes done as he comes off for breathers...

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moreismore · 06/11/2017 21:21

Yeah it can be tricky... the hind milk is yellower and more opaque... like cream vs skimmed milk. You can normally see a little left on the nipple or squeeze a little out to judge. Your breast will feel 'emptier' (though not actually empty as milk produced continuously) as time goes on and your supply stabilises. If your baby is keen to latch but then fussing it suggests it's time to switch. If they fuss early on try gently compressing the breast to speed up flow. There's lots of good info on but a lot of it is trial and error as you and your baby are individuals. Hang in there you're doing a great job.

NameChange30 · 06/11/2017 21:29

Hmmm. Newborns feed a lot but hungry all the time and an hour per feed is excessive. Constant feeding can be a sign of tongue tie (it was in our case). There is a list of other signs here - I suggest you check just in case.

I just let DS feed from one breast until he unlatches, offer again but if he's uninterested, give him a short break and then offer the other breast. He very rarely feeds from both in one session, and sometimes only a brief feed from the second breast, so I will start from that one next time.

Basically just alternate sides and try not to overthink it. But consider tongue tie if the constant feeding is accompanied by any other signs from that list.

EssentialHummus · 07/11/2017 11:32

Also try to ascertain whether he is actually feeding for an hour at a time, or feeding alternated by maybe sleeping or sucking for comfort. You will get to know the difference pretty quickly if you watch. This is what I had with my daughter and it almost made me give up breastfeeding because I felt she was insatiable. Actually it was about 20 minutes of feeding followed by 40 minutes of quite lazy sucking. In my case after 30 minutes or so I take the breast off and offer a dummy instead, or just hold her closely And she was equally happy.

NameChange30 · 07/11/2017 11:37

Good point about the comfort sucking. DS will "sleepy feed" for ages sometimes unless I unlatch him. If he's actually still eating when I unlatch him he will protest! But otherwise will be fine.

BowlingShoes · 07/11/2017 11:41

Foremilk and hindmilk is apparently a myth. Look at the Kellymom website for good advice. I wouldn't feed one side for more than about 15 minutes before switching, but you can switch back to the first side again after.

BabyDreams2018 · 07/11/2017 11:54

You need to empty one breast before moving to the other to avoid engorgement and mastitis. I would try to keep him awake until he has fed from both sides. Mine preferred one side too but I used to start with their least favourite side and move across. They need to take each full side to get the creamier heavier milk which keeps them full longer. If you are able you could try cluster feeding in the evening and having a dream feed at about 11pm/12am. Your DC is still quite young but as he gets older he will speed up his ability to feed and it won't take as long. Check our Kelly's Mom website too, it gives some useful tips. I had a sucky baby and had to introduce a dummy to save my sanity. I really didn'the want to but I had to. Either I gave her a dummy or I was going to be her dummy. Sad It worked out well in the end and I bf her for a couple of years. The early days are tough Flowers

Temporary2002 · 07/11/2017 21:39

I always fed 10 min on one side then switch. Nursed on demand about every 90 minutes when awake.

Jellybabie3 · 07/11/2017 22:18


OP posts:
nightshade · 07/11/2017 22:27

I never emptied a breastfeeding in the early days...

If you swap breasts regularly through feeding it will increase your milk supply..

If you feed for several feeds on one before swapping it generally decreases supply so be aware of how much u are producing. .

Wet and dirty nappies and growing out of clothes are usually the best indicator..

Jellybabie3 · 08/11/2017 03:24

What?! So many pitfalls

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Newmanwannabe · 08/11/2017 03:32

No such thing as foremilk hind milk. All milk has cream. Towards the end of the feed it is creamier but not significantly noticible (unless you have a true oversupply which is not common).

Feed from one side until sucks settle and either falling to sleep or not having feeding type sucks; then offer the other side. You can always go back to the first side of the baby wants more again. Breast compression whilst feeding helps with the flow and as long as your breasts are soft at least once every 24hours you shouldnt have any issues. If your breasts are really full, try a breast massage pre-feed, along with some cold for relief. as there are some thoughts that the milk separates somewhat whilst sitting there and the massage can help with that

Newmanwannabe · 08/11/2017 03:37

Also look at some of the laid back nursing tips for getting a "deep latch". Maybe he's just not getting enough breast in. A big mouthful ensures a good letdown and good stimulation for milk production

Jellybabie3 · 08/11/2017 11:03

Great thanks!!

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