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Old 03-28-2008, 08:56 PM   #1
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what to do when baby favors one side?

i just had my baby this monday and shes doing good but i am sooooo engorged, and she is sooo tiny, 6.8 and so my breasts are like 12x bigger then her head but she is only latching on on my right side...she will on my left side for a few seconds and then she just kinda stops and sits there. she doesnt really fall asleep, just turns her head or opens her mouth and puts her lips on me but doesnt stay sucking for more then a few sucks. i do recall this same thing happening w/ dd#1 but i dont remember really what i did or didnt do to stop it. any suggestions? anyone have this problem. i am really trying not to make BFing so stressful this time but i just want it to work so bad! also even when she does stay on, like on the other side, it's only for 5-20 minutes. she s so tiny i just hope she is gaining weight. we have a drs apt monday so we will see but i remember dd#1 nursing for like 45 minutes at a time and #2 its only 5 minutes sometimes and she wont go on again. she just sits there or lets the milk drip in and then drools it out. HELP! thanks in advance mamas!
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:50 PM   #2
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

Did you ever use a nipple shield? It can really help for latching issues. My third baby would latch and then just sit there, not sucking. He wasn't associating nursing with being fed (crazy babe!) so after lots of help from a lactation consultant, a nipple shield, and a SNS we finally got him to figure it out. I would suggest seeing an LC - they can do so much to boost your confidence and support you so that bfing can be less stressful! All the of my LOs had trouble getting started but they all nursed past 12 months successfully in the end. Good luck and congratulations!
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:57 PM   #3
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

I had alot of trouble with latching issues too. With all 4! I learned something new though with number 4. Get a nipple shield! If only I knew that with number1! Also, get help from lactation consultant. This will likely work wonders!
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:15 PM   #4
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

well i had a nipple shield w/ #1 and she got really dependent on it and the LCs were actually trying to wean me off that...so i am not sure if i want to offer that again. i just nursed her on the "bad" side and she latched for maybe 2 minutes one time and 4 minutes the other time...i know she can its just like you said...she not associating it with food, or something. i think when i go to the ped on monday i will see where she stands w/ weight gain and then ill figure it out...who knows, maybe she is getting more then i realize and so she is just done quicker.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:07 AM   #5
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

i didnt read through all the responses
but if i understand correctly - she is latching well on one side but isnt interested in the other? Also she isnt nursing long but sometimes lets milk even fall from her mouth?

of course after seeing what she has gainned i'm sure you will know more - but in the mean time - how is her output? number of wet and dirty diapers?

my little ones both preferred one side over the other - and opposite sides at that - i'm a cup larger on one side at 13 months post partum and still nursing

personally i'd stay away from the shield if at all possible b/c they can be a pain as you well know and she is latching well on one side .... if she is gaining find and has good output i wouldnt worry about her time spent nursing

to try and even myself out i tend to start on the unfavored breast, then nurse on the favored side and then go back to the unfavored breast instead of alternating like usual - but its mostly just so i have a bra that fits both sides

you have to think too that if she's 6 something lbs she cant have a huge tummy - my midwife told us with the last that a 6 lb baby shouldnt be forced to eat as many oz per feeding as 9+ lb full term baby (mine was 36.5 wks old at birth) and the doctors gave us some awful advice and threats due to his birth size (like i had so much control over that) and jaundice (that turned out not even to be high enough for lights but i'm getting off topic)
anyhow if she is drinking well and then afterwards not swallowing milk that is already in her mouth she just sounds like she is full - its not the same as if you feel that you dont have enough for her and she still seems hungry after one side or that she isnt ever sucking and swallowing well

my first one needed to suck almost constantly and would have live literally at the breast all day long for his first 3 or 4 months old - the second ate and then didnt want to stay and hang out there - so no movie dates with dh

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Old 03-28-2008, 11:36 PM   #6
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

I've battled this with all 3 kids, but I've got some issues with asymmetry that I think accounts for it. They'll nurse on one side for like 5mins, and like 20 on the other. Sometimes I can trick em into nursing longer by using the football hold on the less-loved side. I always start with that side, then switch when they refuse to nurse there anymore. It's the best I can manage.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:43 PM   #7
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

Have you tried holding her in the same position when you switch sides? Uh... Football hold on the side she doesn't favor and regular for the side she does is basically what I'm talking about. Do you have a LLL near you? I think a lactation consultant would be really helpful. I hope things get better soon.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:55 PM   #8
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

I began LC training, then moved and never pursued finishing. I'm sure a nipple shield has helped some but I was taught that babies don't get as much milk when you use a nipple shield.
PP suggested changing to a different position when nursing on the refused breast. I agree. You may have a milk duct that makes the milk spray a little differently.
Try nursing on that side first, when she's really hungry.
Most problems get better, we just have to get through those first few weeks while baby is learning what it's all about (and us too for that matter)Take care.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:13 AM   #9
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharlaelizabeth View Post
Have you tried holding her in the same position when you switch sides? Uh... Football hold on the side she doesn't favor and regular for the side she does is basically what I'm talking about. Do you have a LLL near you? I think a lactation consultant would be really helpful. I hope things get better soon.
This is what I was going to suggest, it always worked for me if my kiddos went through a phase of having a favorite side.
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:02 PM   #10
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

I didn't read all the responses, but my youngest preferred one side over the other. The only position he'd nurse in until he got bigger was football hold, and even then I had to hand express a few times to make sure the nipple was right there for him. I had a flat nipple issue, and it was much worse on one side than the other.

Also, have you taken your babe to a chiropractor? I took DS in and we found out that he had pretty severe tightness on one side, which made turning his head that way very uncomfortable for him, thereby making him prefer one side to the other. One adjustment, and he was nursing like a champ on both sides. We've been taking him for regular adjustments since he was about 6wks old, and it's been a lifesaver.

Oh, and I agree with everyone who says to stay away from the nipple shield if at all possible. I had to use one for my preemie (in conjunction with an SNS...that was fun) and it was a nightmare. She never nursed without it.
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