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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 03-28-2008, 11:36 PM   #5
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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, 11:42 PM   #6
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

I don't blame you for wanting to steer clear of the shields if you can, I have known a few mamas who had problems weaning off them.

do you have a breast pump? If she is having trouble latching, you could try and pump that side for a moment to sort of extend the nipple itself a little.

Breastfeeding.com has a great section of videos showing what a proper latch looks like and how to obtain it, maybe that will help? http://www.breastfeeding.com/helpme/helpme_video.html
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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 03-29-2008, 06:16 AM   #9
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

Yeah I'ld be careful about the nipple sheild. My LO didn't gain for the 1st three weeks using the shield just held steady. Once we got off the shield she took off though. Although she still (at nearly 8 mo) really likes one side a lot better than the other unless its bed time. The less favored side seems to be her sleepy pacifier side.

Good luck,
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:20 AM   #10
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Re: what to do when baby favors one side?

I also had the same types of trouble. I'd def. offer it to her when she's the hungriest and also try hand expressing a little out and then offering it to her. She might be waiting on the let down and it's not coming as fast as it does on the other side.

Also don't watch the clock, watch your baby. I had a REALLY hard time learning that too. My dd was 6.5 and she only nursed like 10 min total even in the beginning. Don't worry about offering both sides in the beginning if she's not eating for long times. I'd just let her suck and suck on one side and then if she's done she's done if not offer the other once you think she's finished. Many times my dd didn't even take the other side. Sometimes though she would. Umm...don't let the doctors scare you. I don't know how bfing they are but my swore they were but yet they constantly went against ANYTHING I read about bfing a baby. www.kellymom.com is a GREAT source of information as well as the LLL.com forums. I used both of them a lot!!

Babies tend to sometimes gain weight slowly so don't get discouraged if she is. My dd was a VERY slow to gain BUT healthy baby. If I'd have listend to the doctors I would've probably been ff the first two weeks. Needless to say my dd is STILL very small and VERY active and VERY healthy. So please just watch the baby not the clock or the scale!!

GL momma hang in there!! It is VERY difficult those first few weeks/months but it does get easier and SOOO much more fun!!
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