Block Nursing vs. Switch Nursing - Why? - Mothering Forums
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Breastfeeding > Block Nursing vs. Switch Nursing - Why?
J2's Avatar J2 04:28 PM 08-23-2006
Why do some people block nurse (use same side for a few horus) instead of switch nurse (switch sides during every feeding).

My DS generally eats of one side then when he is done with that side or showing very little interest or just sucking for suck purposes, then I will switch sides. I am not sure why some will just use one side for a few hours. What are the benefits or desirability of this?

Benji'sMom's Avatar Benji'sMom 05:26 PM 08-23-2006
DS2 nurses on one side per session. He's full after one side so there is no reason to switch. (And actually he usually nurses before naps so he'll be asleep by the time he is done with one side.) It's not really a choice to feed him on one side, it's just how he does it. My DS1 always switched sides, was constantly looking for more more more, but DS2 isn't like that. It has more to do with their personalities, it's not by my design.

(There are also some people who feed on the SAME side for MORE than one feeding, which can help the baby get more hindmilk if they have a hindmilk imbalance but that's a different thing altogether.)
mom2e's Avatar mom2e 05:26 PM 08-23-2006
bumping because i'd like to know, too!
alegna's Avatar alegna 07:44 PM 08-23-2006
We block nursed. At first there was just no reason to switch, then we noticed green poo which is a sign of foremilk/hindmilk issues so we went to longer blocks to solve it.

-Angela
alegna's Avatar alegna 07:48 PM 08-23-2006
arg- server issues. triple post.
alegna's Avatar alegna 07:49 PM 08-23-2006
arg- server issues. triple post.
MomToKandE's Avatar MomToKandE 08:40 PM 08-23-2006
I've seen block nursing suggested for oversupply issues in the first few weeks. (never heard that term before though) I guess it's like the pp said, to make sure baby is getting enough hindmilk since with an oversupply you might have a ton of foremilk.

With my ds (baby #2) we'd only nurse one side at a feeding. He just never wanted the second side. I'd always do the other side at the next feeding though. Dd was a regular both sides at a feeding style nurser.
SabbathD's Avatar SabbathD 09:32 PM 08-23-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benji'sMom
.
(There are also some people who feed on the SAME side for MORE than one feeding, which can help the baby get more hindmilk if they have a hindmilk imbalance but that's a different thing altogether.)
:

Thats why I block nursed initially. That and we had oversupply issues. Now we just do it because my supply is geared that way.
MamaAllNatural's Avatar MamaAllNatural 09:36 PM 08-23-2006
Ideally, babe needs to completely drain one side before switching to the other. I can't *stand* it when doctors, nurses and "lactation consultants" tell moms to switch after a certain amount of time to the other side. That goes up there with some of the worst advice ever.

I would always have my babies drain one side all the way (which I could tell it was drained because it went from full to flop ) and then I'd burp them and switch. When I nursed them next time I'd start off on the opposite boob and do the same thing.

I can see doing "block nursing" for the reasons stated above though.
aisraeltax's Avatar aisraeltax 09:39 PM 08-23-2006
at 7 months, i dont even remember which side anymore. E is a very efficient nurser and is usually done within 10 minutes (usually faster), so switching sides is not an option for us. he is DONE way before i even think of switching!
i usually just feel my boobies to figure out which side he shoudl be on next. lol!
XanaduMama's Avatar XanaduMama 09:57 PM 08-23-2006
We did it for oversupply and foremilk/hindmilk issues also. Now it's just the way the supply goes, I think. At the moment, he's teething and wants to nurse ALL the time, so I try to stick to one side so that he doesn't get too much milk along with the comfort suckling--he has reflux and overeating makes him spit up a ton.

I also feel my boob to see which side to do next! I do it in public sometimes and then realize that it probably looks a bit odd...
alegna's Avatar alegna 10:01 PM 08-23-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaAllNatural
Ideally, babe needs to completely drain one side before switching to the other. I can't *stand* it when doctors, nurses and "lactation consultants" tell moms to switch after a certain amount of time to the other side. That goes up there with some of the worst advice ever.
That advice drives me nutso too. FWIW for at least the first 6 months my dd NEVER "drained" my breasts. No flop. At one point we were on 8 hour blocks, still no flop.

-Angela
MamaAllNatural's Avatar MamaAllNatural 10:14 PM 08-23-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by XanaduMama
I also feel my boob to see which side to do next! I do it in public sometimes and then realize that it probably looks a bit odd...
That's what I always did too! My only nursling left is 3 now though so I don't even bf him in public anymore, much less grab my boobs. Anyway, they're *always* "flop" at this point.

I meant to say too that in addition to flop I could feel the different stages of them getting *some* foremilk and then having major let down and them getting *tons* of hindmilk and them gulping a bunch and then I could feel when the milk flow was slowing down. So it was a combination of things really.

Is that overproduction when not enough foremilk is taken or the baby is a lighter eater than your boobs expected? I talked w/a woman about my babies having colic (all of them) which didn't seem to be allergy related and she talked about overproduction and the milk curdling up in the ducts and that upsetting their tummies.
J2's Avatar J2 11:58 PM 08-23-2006
My breasts never are really full feeling unless DS goes an exceptionally long time without eating for some reason.

I don't think he would like block nursing...there are definitely times he wants both sides...but sometimes he also nurses for just a few minutes on each side. I don't look at the clock in oredr to know when to switch him or anything like that, but that's what he does lately.
Jill0905's Avatar Jill0905 01:58 AM 08-24-2006
at night we block nurse. it is easier for me to sleep! of course the next morning i have one HUGE boob and a flat one, but then ds just nurses on the other side.
mimi_n_tre's Avatar mimi_n_tre 01:50 PM 08-24-2006
Just wondering???

Can milk really curdle in your boobs? I didn't think so, but maybe I am naive???
alegna's Avatar alegna 02:25 PM 08-24-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi_n_tre
Just wondering???

Can milk really curdle in your boobs? I didn't think so, but maybe I am naive???
no.

-Angela
mothragirl's Avatar mothragirl 02:29 PM 08-24-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi_n_tre
Just wondering???

Can milk really curdle in your boobs? I didn't think so, but maybe I am naive???
milk isn't really stored in our breasts, it is mostly produced while a baby nurses.
we block nursed due to oversupply and foremilk/hindmilk issues.
Catherine12's Avatar Catherine12 02:36 PM 08-24-2006
I think that for the most part, whichever way you go your body will adjust appropriately. I don't bother much about which side's "turn" it is or whether or not to switch - I just play it by ear. If one breast feels more full I'll give it to him (they almost never feel full - he eats as fast as I produce I think). If the breast he's working on seems empty and he still seems hungry, I switch him.

With dd, in the beginning, I did the whole "She needs 10 minutes on each side. Let me watch the clock" thing, and it was just a hassle. Now I just follow ds's and my body's cues and we're both doing great (he's happy, healthy and growing well, I don't have any plugged ducts, sore nipples, or engorged leaking breasts).
MamaAllNatural's Avatar MamaAllNatural 03:12 PM 08-24-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi_n_tre
Just wondering???

Can milk really curdle in your boobs? I didn't think so, but maybe I am naive???
Well, the woman I spoke with really didn't sound like she was making it up. It was a specific issue of overproduction so that the hindmilk is coming through the ducts still when the baby stops nursing and then it curdles there and then that is the first thing the baby drinks next time they nurse. I honestly have no idea if that could ever be true but I can't say for sure if it's not. I would love to find out some day why all of my babies had such terrible colic, which they outgrew between 3 and 4 months. I know I never will though.

Catherine, that sounds great. I wish more doctors/nurses etc. would just encourage women trust their bodies like that.
newbie_mary's Avatar newbie_mary 03:15 PM 08-24-2006
If I don't block nurse I end up choking poor DS with my very overactive letdown (and end up spraying bm all over the place!) Rarely he will finish one boob and then still want more, so I switch over to the other side, but generally I try to offer the same one for 3 or 4 hours, then switch.

Mary
MomToKandE's Avatar MomToKandE 03:17 PM 08-24-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaAllNatural
Well, the woman I spoke with really didn't sound like she was making it up. It was a specific issue of overproduction so that the hindmilk is coming through the ducts still when the baby stops nursing and then it curdles there and then that is the first thing the baby drinks next time they nurse. I honestly have no idea if that could ever be true but I can't say for sure if it's not. I would love to find out some day why all of my babies had such terrible colic, which they outgrew between 3 and 4 months. I know I never will though.
If you had an oversupply issue you might have trouble with mastitis... maybe she'd gotten advice about avoiding mastitis, didn't quite understand, and mentally filled in the blanks in the way that seemed to make sense to her.
Mama Poot's Avatar Mama Poot 03:43 PM 08-24-2006
I forget which side I last used, honestly. I seem to take the "Ok, this boob doesnt feel so good anymore, I better use it" approach. I did the switch thing with ds#1 and he didnt gain well. I wouldnt worry about it too much.
littlemomma's Avatar littlemomma 04:30 PM 08-24-2006
If you only offer one breast for 3-4 feedings for oversupply and to make it easier on baby (not "choking"), doesn't baby really really choke when it is time to switch?
melbb's Avatar melbb 07:39 PM 08-24-2006
I switch nursed DD, but because she was fussy with my lower-producing side, took the advice from my LC to block nurse. It seemed to be working, but within 4 days I didn't have a supply. DD refused the breast and never took it again (I still try to this day), even after I got my supply back up. I would be hesitant to ever do that with another child.
atrain's Avatar atrain 07:55 PM 08-24-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill0905
at night we block nurse. it is easier for me to sleep! of course the next morning i have one HUGE boob and a flat one, but then ds just nurses on the other side.
me too! Although now that dd is 20 months I don't ever seem to get the huge boob.
PrettyBird's Avatar PrettyBird 11:48 AM 08-26-2006
I am block nursing right now to help correct oversupply and foremilk/hindmilk imbalance.


It is NOT working DD still has green poops and I still get incredibly full breasts and a firehose letdown.
WNB's Avatar WNB 04:38 PM 08-26-2006
I notice that my DD's poop turns green if I switch around more frequently, so I keep her one one side until she gets annoyed to be there, and then I switch her ( or next session if she is just finished wioth nursing).
alegna's Avatar alegna 06:32 PM 08-26-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyBird
I am block nursing right now to help correct oversupply and foremilk/hindmilk imbalance.


It is NOT working DD still has green poops and I still get incredibly full breasts and a firehose letdown.
Try longer blocks. At one point I think I went to 8 hour blocks.

-Angela
CalebsMama05's Avatar CalebsMama05 07:24 PM 08-26-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by laurabelle1317
Why do some people block nurse (use same side for a few horus) instead of switch nurse (switch sides during every feeding).

My DS generally eats of one side then when he is done with that side or showing very little interest or just sucking for suck purposes, then I will switch sides. I am not sure why some will just use one side for a few hours. What are the benefits or desirability of this?
when ds was first born I realized that I have overactive letdown and it quickly became apparent that I was dealing with oversupply as well. I block nursed (3 feedings on one boob then switch and do 3 feedings on the other) because I didn't want him to get too much foremilk (common with oversupply) and I wanted my boobs to make LESS milk which block nursing signals production to slow down...and I wanted my overactive letdown to be easier to manage.

now its regulating a bit more I'm doing one boob a feeding and sometimes switching during a feed. you do what works for you.
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