Huge preference for one side - should I just pump the "bad" side? — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Huge preference for one side - should I just pump the "bad" side?

Hi,

My LO is a little over 5 weeks and we've had many issues with my right breast - mastitis, thrush and a huge, painful crack that is still there.  I think because of all of this, combined with the stress and incredible pain I've had with that breast, my LO has a huge preference for the left breast, which we do great with.  She is gaining weight wonderfully.  My question is what to do at this point.  Sometimes I'm still in too much pain to offer the right breast, sometimes she downright refuses it and other times, she'll take it but for 2-5 minutes and then get very fussy.  I pump it between 2-3 times a day and still offer it when I can so I'm still getting lots of milk coming in, and am actually having an issue now with engorgement and lumps all over it.  Should I just give up on that side, pump it a few times a day and not worry anymore about it?  I think that offering it sometimes and having her sometimes take it for a few minutes is really messing up my supply because it is so incredibly inconsistent.  I just kind of want to establish a routine but with all the issues we've had, it's been really hard.  Any suggestions would be so appreciated!! I'm losing my mind!! haha.

Thanks!

Re: Huge preference for one side - should I just pump the "bad" side?

  • I don't have any help but I'm having the same problem with my almost 3 week old. He takes the left breast perfect every time but doesn't like the right side & tears it up when he does take it. I've been pumping it for a few days because it is just so painful.

    I'm hoping you get some helpful answers that will help me out also because I don't know what to do anymore. I have to pump it for every feeding because he's not getting enough from just the one side & it's tiring.
  • Try holding her like you are holding her for the left breast. If she doesn't take it for a full feed, I would definitely pump for your comfort, but you should work towards her taking it.
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  • I'm glad you asked this. As I mentioned in my post further down I have a cracked right nipple and wasn't sure what to do regarding feeding DS. But It seems like offering just the left for now and pumping the right until it heals seems like the way to go.

    How often do you pump the "bad" side?
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  • Probably not often enough....only about 3-4 times a day....trying for 4.  But I get a good 4-6 ounces from each pump, which is a lot of extra milk to freeze and store.  She certainly seems to be getting enough from just the left side and is gaining weight, so I'm wondering if this is just the way to go.  ??  I know it's not picture perfect and I don't want to eventually lose supply on the "bad" side, but if things stay this way, I think I'd be okay with this.  I don't know....it's all new to me!!
  • I pump after every feeding just to help with supply. 

    I also recommend getting a good nipple cream (I use Bamboobies) and some nipple shells. The shells literally put your nipple in a protective bubble when you're not feeding. 
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  • I found the hydrogel pads by Medela to be a life saver. They are pricey - but I was in so much pain the first couple weeks that the money was worth it. I think you can wear them for 48 hours and then you have to throw them out. But they were awesome. Maybe it was a coincidence but within a couple days my crackled nipple was healed. It no longer felt like a dagger when he latched on ;)
  • Have you tried a shield? I'm against them but they did help.
  • Oh Boy! I have no words of wisdom for you. My daughter is almost 6 months and she prefers my right breast.. and as a result.. my boobs are WAY lopsided.. 

    Sadly, I kinda stuff my left breast in my bra so I don't look so weird. haha! I've decided after I'm done having kids, i'm getting a boob job. My ta ta's will have earned it at that point. LOL!

    If your baby is gaining weight.. that's what matters. I hope for your sake though, you can get your LO to take both sides so you don't end up lopsided like me! :/ 
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