Babies: 3 - 6 Months

XP BF: Strong Preference for One Breast

My son is almost 15 weeks old and has been EBF since birth.  He's always been a really great eater.  In the beginning, he had a preference for the left breast, but over time, he stopped having a preference.  A month or so ago, he started to prefer the right breast.  It wasn't a big deal, my right boob was just a lot bigger in the mornings.  He would still eat on both sides though.  I started to feed him in a pattern of once on the right, twice on the left, to even them out.  This plan worked for a bit.  The past week, however, he is almost refusing the left breast.  He will eat there for about five minutes then pull off and get very fussy.  Once I put him on the right, he calms down and eats his fill.  The only exception is first thing in the morning, when he'll eat for a longer period on the left.

I know that he's getting enough to eat, because he still gives me the same amount of poopy and wet diapers.  My only concern is that I will loose my supply in the left breast.  It is also frustrating at night when he is very fussy, and after draining the right breast, wants more right then, but doesn't want the left side.  I've tried pumping a few times to up the supply, but I barely get any milk.  If anyone has any advice or has been through this before, please let me know!  I'm considering making an appointment with my doctor, but I thought I would ask here first.  Thank you!

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Re: XP BF: Strong Preference for One Breast

  • I'd sched an appt, since it could be your supply (I really have no idea). You may also consider seeing a chiropractor (I mean your LO seeing the chiro), as sometimes it can more be a neck discomfort type-of-thing. I had a friend whose DD refused to eat on one side bc of the position her neck was in while BFing.

    Have you tried different positions (football, cradle, etc) on your left side? 

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  • Also, you can check with some chiros; many will see an infant for free.
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  • Could your letdown be more forceful with your left? I had the same problem, he would get really fussy and not eat and cry- it appeared it was just coming out too fast. I got some advice at La Leche League, check it out. :o)
  • I have this exact same issue.  She has always preferred my right side, but about 3 weeks ago, she decided she didn't want to nurse on the left side during the day.  She will nurse on my left right before bed and throughout the night, I figure, when she is most sleepy.  I am currently pumping my left side during the day, every 4 hours.  It seems to keep the supply up on the left and she is content nursing off the right side for every feeding during the day.  i always offer my left side, but she rarely takes it. I do have a slower letdown on that side and the milk doesn't come out as much (like I only see two or three streams of milk when I pump, compared to 5 or 6+ on my right).  I guess those factors frustrate her when she is very aware of it.  

    Sorry for rambling, I guess what I am trying to say is that you are not alone and if you are able, you could pump the left side when she nurses the right.  I don't know if this is the answer to this problem, but it seems to be working for me for now.  

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  • That?s interesting that a chiropractor could offer a solution.  I suppose it?s possible that he is uncomfortable in that position, but wouldn?t that always have been a problem?  I prefer the cradle hold, but I have tried placing him in the football hold after he has gotten fussy in the cradle.  Unfortunately, it doesn?t help, but it might work if I tried it first. 

     

    I have considered that there may be an issue with my let-down, but I don?t think it?s too fast.  It may be too slow.  I?m not really sure how to tell what kind of let-down I have, but I have seen him adapt to the stream when it?s spraying from the nipple.  I can?t really explain why, but I have a gut feeling that it?s too slow for him. 

     

    EKC29, I?m sorry to hear that you?re having these issues too, but it does make me feel better to know that I?m not alone and that you have found a solution that works!  What kind of pump do you have?  I?ve been using a manual Medela.  It worked very well when my milk first came in, but this is the first time I?ve used it since, and it isn?t getting out very much.

     

    Thanks for all of the advice, ladies! 

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  • I have the Medela Pump in Style. It rocks and I really like it! Good luck to you!
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  • What position do you normally use to feed him in?  I'm wondering if it might help to lie down on a bed and have him lay next to you to eat.  My almost 5 month old sometimes prefers to be held one way rather than the other, but if I lay down on the bed to feed him, he will eat from either side.  Obviously this doesn't work when you're not home, but might be worth a try at home to avoid having to pump!  Good luck.

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