I thought I understood breast feeding... but I don't. Please help! — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

I thought I understood breast feeding... but I don't. Please help!

Ok ladies - my son is now 4 days old and we are super excited he is here! I thought I read everything I needed to know for breast feeding and now that I'm actually doing it, I'm confused.

My left breast is now bigger than my right breast and is consistently feeling hard. I try to nurse on that one first when he is ready to nurse thinking that it will drain a little quicker and hopefully go down in size. Or I alternate if the right one is leaking quickly then I nurse on the right side. My right breast is softer and flows really well, (after having a difficult two days, he wouldn't even take the right breast the first day and a half.) but it is still small.
How do I get them to be somewhat even? I feel like the left breast looks like a grapefruit next to a small orange. 
I also received a Medela electric breast pump from the hospital and I'm not sure when to use it. Should I try to pump with the breast pump after he is finished nursing on the left to relief some pressure/extra milk? 

Any tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated. :)

Re: I thought I understood breast feeding... but I don't. Please help!

  • If you keep nursing on one side first every time, your brain gets the message that that breast needs to make more milk...hence the unevenness. Make sure you're switching breasts every time, don't pump or express on that side right now, and it'll even out. Keep an eye out for a blocked duct or mastitis!
    drowe214
  • If your left breast is too hard and you feel as though you may "pop" aka your super engorged, you can hand express a little until you are comfortable.
    I ditto PP about feeding on every other side. Your breasts will naturally even out.

                                                              

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  • Congrats on your LO! I concurr with pps about meeting with an LC, hand expressing some on the left, and alternating feeds. My left was a bugger producer than my right but it has since evened out. Also, for me, I was feeding on my right and pumping the left to try and get the right more stimulated, but now I mostly just make site I nurse both sides equally. Keep up the good work, EBF is hard and for me, no amount of reading ir classes, etc could fully prepare me for the challenge.
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