Using only one breast? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 02-17-2004, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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De-lurking in hopes of finding much-needed help...

Over the past couple of months, my 8.5-month-old dd seems to have forgotten her latching-on skills when nursing on my left breast. I realize there could be several reasons for this, primarily teething. She sprouted her first tooth two weeks ago, and it looks like there's another on the way.

When latching on, she opens her mouth wide and I put as much nipple/areola as possible in her mouth. But she will immediately tilt her head back, pressing her chin into my breast and stretching my nipple (ow!). I'm left with a very sore nipple with tiny purple scabs scattered around the surface. Also, after most nursing sessions using that side (but not all), a LOT of pain in the nipple. She has no problem at all with the right side.

For the past several weeks, I have been taking her off and repositioning her when her latch isn't correct. This leads to 20-30 minutes of on-off-on-off-on frustration for the both of us, and it hasn't seemed to help. I'm also using Lansinoh throughout the day, and usually taking acetaminophen once a day. It feels like the early days of nursing, although I don't remember it being this bad back then.

After all that backstory, my question is this: Is it possible to nurse exclusively from one side? Dd typically only nurses from one side per feeding, and I've never had issues with supply. I'm wondering if I can just gradually phase out the left breast. Because ow, ow, ow! I have no interest in weaning entirely at this point, but are there drawbacks to dropping one breast out of the equation?

I should probably mention that she's pretty much nightweaned, except for the occasional middle-of-the-night feeding, and usually breastfeeds 4-6 times per day (so 2-3 times per side).

TIA for your help!

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#2 of 2 Old 02-17-2004, 03:43 PM
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You'd be surprised at how many older babies/toddlers get a breast preference.

Sometimes it is temporary, b/c of fluid in one of the ears causing discomfort. This might be remedied by nursing upright or in football hold, until the fluid drains. My kids would get phlegmy when teething. My ds refused one breast for 3 weeks, but would take it in football hold.

Sometimes it is permanent b/c of nipple size/shape, or milk letdown speed.

Either way, no problem. Sounds like a lot of trouble to get her on that breast. You could give up and just let her have at the "good" side. Pump the other side just in case she comes back to it after a while. But if she doesn't, let it dry up. You can make enough from one side. It will just take up the slack.

BTW, is she eating lots of solids? I wonder if 4 bfings a day is enough?
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