One-sided nursing? Any experiences? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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After my 8th round of mastitis on the same breast, I'm ready to consider just nursing on the other side.
Every time has been on my right breast, and I've tried every problem-solving suggestion I've heard, and it just keeps coming back. It's true mastitis, not a plugged duct, which would make more sense. I've tried multiple rounds of different antibiotics and several home remedies. My midwife even sent me for a breast ultrasound to rule out anything more serious.
I've changed bras, sleeping positions, baby carriers, nursing positions, etc. It always comes on when I'm tired/stressed/busy/run down, and changing my life just isn't happening. That's a whole other rant, but there just isn't much more to give up.
I wouldn't be surprised if it actually is a bra issue, as the right side has always been a little larger, and a better producer, but I can't pinpoint an exact problem area, and I just can't afford to keep trying new bras. Going without is almost as uncomfortable as the infections.
There may also be a loose correlation with my cycle, but I'm not sure what to do about that either.
I know one-sided nursing is possible, and I was just wondering if anyone had any tips, suggestions, or stories about dealing with it.
Thanks everybody!

Heather, DW to Clyf: & ::: Mama to Bridget: 3/22/05 CP: & Braden:7/12/08 Retired EPer-27mos:
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#2 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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I don't have any answers, but I'm curious to hear others', as I have a lumpectomy scar that hurts like crazy right now (pregnant), and my doc thinks nursing may hurt like crazy (she's not anti-nursing, in fact she doesn't see it as a reason not to nurse, she's just being realistic with me.) I did enough martyrdom nursing my DD, and also I had enough milk to feed a small army of babies, so if I can, I may choose to do one-sided nursing.

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#3 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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I have a good friend who nursed one of her babies on one side only -- not by conscious choice, but this kid was stubborn and only nursed one side from, I don't know, 3-4 months maybe? I remember she was excited when she finally weaned him that her breasts would be near the same size again...but other than the (temporary) asymmetry of her breasts, she didn't have any problems.

Personally, I'd try to vary positions so that both of the baby's eyes had roughly equal chances to "face out" if I was only nursing on one side, but that would be my only issue. (I.e., football or sidelying v. cross-lap)
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#4 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Personally, I'd try to vary positions so that both of the baby's eyes had roughly equal chances to "face out" if I was only nursing on one side, but that would be my only issue. (I.e., football or sidelying v. cross-lap)
My son is already an 18mo stunt nurser, so I don't choose his nursing positition very often these days. Excellent point to keep in mind if this comes up with any future babes. Thanks!

Heather, DW to Clyf: & ::: Mama to Bridget: 3/22/05 CP: & Braden:7/12/08 Retired EPer-27mos:
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#5 of 17 Old 01-14-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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My son was a one side baby. He only liked the one side so I just let him. I did not have any problems with doing that way.

Oh he weaned @ about 3 and half.
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#6 of 17 Old 01-14-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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It is perfectly healthy to just nurse on the one side. You can express a little on the other side to maintain comfort. Each breast is a seperate organ and produces milk independently. So, if you slow down or stop nursing on the side that keeps getting infected it will slowly stop making milk.

Being overly tired is high up there on the reason why women get mastitis. You need to take care of yourself. I know it can be really hard, but try to get as much rest as you can. I have had 3 bouts of mastitis, and I have connected all of them with being overly tired. I rearranged some things and am now able to get more sleep. I have not had a bout of mastitis in months and months!!!

Kristin, sahm to ds Avery (11-15-08) 3 raw fed
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#7 of 17 Old 01-16-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that I am in the same boat right now. This is the fifth bout of mastitis on my right side since DD was born. I never got it once with DS. This is the second time I've had to take ABX it was so bad and so sudden. Ugh. I am thinking of trying to just dry up the side that keeps getting infected as well. It is a MUCH lower producer anyway and is already smaller than my left! I'm glad I read this thread because I wasn't sure if it was healthy (for your breasts) to do that... I have also noticed a stress correlation with my bouts as well. But, like the PP, its pretty hard to change some things in life right now. Feh. Good luck PP.

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#8 of 17 Old 01-17-2010, 12:39 AM
 
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I've been nursing DD on one boob since shortly after she was born. She does comfort nurse on the other side too, but not much. My one just never produced much, and she rejected it because of that (I think.) So she exclusively feeds off the left breast only.

In my job as a paramedic, I caught a seventh (!!!) son for a mama who had nourished all of her boys by EBF on just one boob for over a year each, and they were all big, strapping beefy kids.

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#9 of 17 Old 01-17-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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I'm so sorry for your recurrent infections and pain

I'm tandem nursing and nurse each kid on the same side all the time. My older one only nurses twice a day and my little one nurses several times a day. Each breast has its own supply and always has - never a problem keeping up with the baby from birth, and no engorgement on the older one's side. It should be fine.

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#10 of 17 Old 01-19-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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i have a lot of experience with one sided nursing. my left side didnt produce more than 5 oz per day (i know this bc i pumped religiously for months) and my right side made up all the difference for a total of anywhere from 24-30 oz per day (double pumping 7 times per day).

my LO nursed on both sides (although barely getting anything from the left) for 6 months and then gave up on the left and we nursed exclusively on the right until she was 22 months.

you can do it! dont worry. your body will adjust.

there's also a story on mothering.com about somone who did this and there's stories on kellymom.com GOOD LUCK!
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#11 of 17 Old 01-20-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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I'm a one-sided nurser!! I've always thought I was the only one or that is was a bit odd, but I had no choice. After a really rough start bf'ing (mastitis included), ds ended up only taking to the left breast. I had to use a nipple shield for the first month (I have flat nipples), but once my son latched on without it, he went to the better nipple, and everytime I would try to put him on my right breast he would get frustated cuz the nipple wasn't protruding enough for him to latch on, so I would always give up and put him on the left where he was perfectly content. At first I would just pump the right boob to keep up the supply in hopes of him eventually taking to it, but he never would and I just gave up. I just felt that he's getting all the nourishment he needs from one, so why fight it. I can live with lop-sided boobs.

I'm pregnant again tho, so I'm hoping that once my milk comes in the other boob I can really work on getting DS to nurse since he's older and able to latch on better than an infant, cuz I can't see how I'll be able to nurse 2 kids off 1 boob! lol

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#12 of 17 Old 01-20-2010, 01:19 AM
 
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How about going braless? I do most of the time. Oh, and ds stopped nursing on my left side around one year, and the non-nursed on breast just shrunk down. And this time around, it's still much smaller than the other.

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#13 of 17 Old 01-21-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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For what it's worth, my SIL has been exclusively breastfeeding her daughter on one side only for 7 months now. Her daughter is in the 90th percentile for height and weight and meeting or beating all milestones, so it definitely can be done.

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#14 of 17 Old 02-02-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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I nursed my DD for almost 3 years almost exclusively on my right side, and am now again nursing my 10 day old newborn. We started on both sides again this time, but since my left nipple is partially inverted it's not as easy, and hurts so much that I stopped and am now going solo on the right again. I have more than enough to feed her from the one side and she is happy and healthy, so I have no worries. It actually works quite well for me, as my left side is usually bigger, and nursing on the right side evens them out. I also never have to remember which side I nursed on last, and switch the baby, etc.
So it is certainly possible, and not hard at all! All the best to you and your babe!
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#15 of 17 Old 02-02-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mizmerricat View Post
My son is already an 18mo stunt nurser, so I don't choose his nursing positition very often these days. Excellent point to keep in mind if this comes up with any future babes. Thanks!
Why is "facing out" so important. I have pretty much exclusively nursed my DD of 8 mo on my left breast. Earlier she used to take my right a bit but hasn't for a loong time...
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#16 of 17 Old 02-06-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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My cousin pretty much nursed her son on her right breast, since her left breast didn't produce much and would refuse it. He got more than enough since he was a little chubbers--my 2nd and her son are only 10 days apart. She did end up becoming lopsided for a while, but she recently weaned him and now her breasts are pretty much evened out now.

Michelle , wife to Ray, mama to Anthony(12/20/05), Bryant(01/08), Carisma (08/21/10) , step ma to Amber(12/13/94), : :
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#17 of 17 Old 02-06-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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DD1 refused my right breast starting when she was about a month old, so from around 2 months she nursed one-sided. We had no issues. Her ped's partner though (definitely not educated enough about BFing) tried to convince me she would certainly be malnourished, so that's another thing to keep in mind ... most people will think it's very strange.

I was only lopsided until DD1 was about 6 or 7 months. After that I couldn't see a difference.

Me , DH , Emmy (5/08), and new baby Tilda (1/10)
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