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Refusing left breast?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
NAK, only a moment to write, so pardon the errors.

DS has recently (last few days) been refusing the left breast! He fusses, and arches his back, but doesn't do that at the right breast. I've had to resort to using football hold, which is uncomfortable for me, and won't really work so well if we're not at home (like in public, where I dont' have all those pillows). Why would he be doing this? I've had to pump to get the engorgement down, it's so uncomfortable! What can I do?

PS He's almost three months old, so possible birth trauma as a cause is pretty much ruled out by now, plus the birth wasn't traumatic.
post #2 of 8
ok, i feel like this sounds like my standard response... but try taking him to a chiro that has lots of experience with babies- with my dd2 and my ds they both refused my right breast and arched their backs etc... turns out it was my caffeine intake causing them discomfort AND a misaligned vertebrae...

each adjustment brought improvement.

really, the first time- right after the adjustment dd2 nursed calmly at the breast in the waiting room of the chiro and then slept for FOUR HOURS!

THAT WAS UNHEARD OF for her!

its worth trying. ime
post #3 of 8
Moving out to the main forum.
post #4 of 8
Both of mine did this at some point.

It only lasted a few days, maybe a week, each time. I made sure I offered the 'boycotted' side whenever they were sleepy and weren't paying so much attention - so if they only wanted the right side, I offered the left for middle of the night feedings and when they were waking up from naps. It was a pain because I would get really engorged on the one side but I tried not to pump too much and only hand expressed when I really needed it - I didn't want my body to keep producing so much milk! Although it does come in handy if you're trying to build a freezer stash...

I'm not really sure why they did it but for some reason I always thought it might be a letdown issue - maybe one side took longer to get the milk and they didn't want to work as hard or maybe the letdown was too fast and too much for them (especially once it got engorged). In any case, I didn't worry too much about it and it solved itself.

HTH

Here's a link to an article on kellymom about preferring one side:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/lopsided.html

I should add that they never seemed to be uncomfortable or in any pain, they just refused to nurse on one side no matter what position they were in. I would definitely look into it further if it continues or if he seems to be uncomfortable on one side!
post #5 of 8

Earache or a sore throat? Other pain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atpeace View Post
DS has recently (last few days) been refusing the left breast! He fusses, and arches his back, but doesn't do that at the right breast. I've had to resort to using football hold, which is uncomfortable for me, and won't really work so well if we're not at home (like in public, where I dont' have all those pillows). Why would he be doing this?
This sounds as if your DS may have earache or a sore throat or some other type of pain that may be worse if he is lying on his right hand (? - sorry not good at left and right) side. Some babies react this way if they have thrush or a hernia.

You are basically doing the right thing in working with him to find a position in which he feels comfortable. If it does not get better in the next few days, it could be a good idea to have a doctor or other health worker to have a look at him. In the mean time, these articles on breast refusal and Help -- My Baby Won't Nurse! may have some useful tips for you.
post #6 of 8
One of my sons did this for quite a while, we went the chiropractor route and he said it sometimes has to do with how they are holding their heads while they sleep. He adjusted him and he stopped having problems at that breast. We did around 5-6 appointments in total to make sure that everything stayed in place.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I thought the chiro route would be more applicable to newborns to heal from some sort of birth trauma, but I see from some of your posts that it can still help us even though he is a bit older. Either way, I think I'll have to mention it the next time we go for a check-up...
post #8 of 8
My child has done this in the past with an ear infection--with no other symptoms except for a very slightly elevated temperature.

Can you do side-lying nursing to get him to lie down on his more comfortable side and nurse from the other breast? That worked for us (although not in public, so much!!)
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