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Hi ladies! I am Ashlee. I am a regular around the forums (AP mommies, CDing, Oct 11, and PAMAL primarily) and *knock on wood* have not had any reason to ask a question about breastfeeding before. I have two boys, both of whom have been breastfed without incident. Until now, obviously
So my baby is 7 months and is still pretty much EBF (he has had tastes of things here and there for the past month or so, but nothing on a regular basis or with a nutritious purpose). He is a great nurser. The chunk weighs 24lbs...so I'd say he is getting plenty from me.
But we are pretty much nursing only on one side. My right is a super-power. It feeds him an entire feed, still feels full (every time) and sometimes I have to pump it off to prevent mastitis from coming to visit (3 visits so far). When I pump it after a full feed, it still gives me 12oz without hints of slowing. I only stop because I refuse to pump more than two bottles full, once a day. Baby boy does not take a bottle at all. So I am just freezing the milk with no plan for its future use (I am on meds that prevent me from donating). I also don't want to pump too much, thus encouraging it to make more. KWIM?
My poor lefty still produces and I make an effort to nurse him on that side at least twice a day. But he tends to turn it away (he has to work harder to get milk, the right side basically does the work for him) and I can't do it in the night or he will wake in an hour, wanting more because he was too tired to get enough to fill him up (three hours is norm for us). When I try to pump from it, I get maybe 4oz...and that is not after any feed (although I know he likely can get more from it).
If I chose to let the lefty dry up...can I nurse him til he self-weans on just one side? Have you heard of anyone doing that?
Do I encourage the left to produce more by engorging the right? Or do I pump the right while nursing left and risk having way, way too much milk for him? (I will say, it is not delightful thinking about being engorged to regulate the supply...when my milk came in after he was born, I had so much I was physically ill for a week)
Do I just keep going in the fashion I have been, not worrying about the left drying up or right overproducing and trust my body will do okay by his needs?
Anything I have not hit on that seems important? I just don't want to do something that might cut nursing short or cause issues with my supply.
Thanks for any insight! I really appreciate any thoughts
fwiw, 4oz from a breast (even without after a feeding) is really good! when i pumped at work, for BOTH breasts, i would get 2-4 oz TOTAL!!!!! So seems like you have a bit of an oversupply. It is really up to you. There have been other posters in the past who nursed only on one side and it worked for them. It seems like there is no reason not to do it, if he is getting enough from the one side, which is seems like he is. If you wanted to nurse on both sides, then you can encourage the left side by pumping that side often, or even doing power pumping on that side only (pumping for an hour, 10 mins on, 10 mins off, to simulate cluster feeding).
Really, there is nothing that would prevent you from only nursing on one side if that is what is working for you.
As far as all the frozen breastmilk, in the summer you can make ice cream and ice pops out of it you can also use it to make oatmeal, etc. Or even smoothies
I'm curious! I have a left side power boob and a right side memo boob!
My right side is literally like nemo's gimpy fin.
She also hates eating from the gimpy boob. Sometimes I skip a couple feeding on the right side and let it somewhat engorge and then give her a good feed off that one. She won't eat much on the gimpy side unless it's pretty full.
I can't pump anything at all from the right side but get about 5 oz per day off the left to freeze.
I LOVE the idea of making Popsicles or smoothies from the extra milk!!!
I may buy some ice trays or Popsicle trays to start freezing mine that way!! You could for sure use it in oatmeal and stuff like that. Maybe freeze 2 oz portions to use for food and stuff. I purchased a deep freeze exclusively for use if storing bm.
I hope to see more feedback on one side nursing.
Jade Ja Kang
6lb 10 oz
Thanks for the ideas about the frozen breastmilk! I think I will make Ds1 some smoothies out of it! He loves smoothies and I have so much extra that I might as well use it! I wonder if DH would be creeped out if I made the family oatmeal with it what he doesn't know can't hurt him!! Lol.
I think supply envy is okay. Oversupply can have its cons...mastitis, never finding bras that fit for nursing, being massively uneven, and fore-milk hind milk imbalance were all not so fun. But I think it is harder to have a scant supply. Especially with working and pumping and trying really hard to make it to and past a year. I really sympathize with those struggling with stash supply issues. It seems stressful and difficult.
I might try that power pumping to see if I can stimulate the left a little. If it doesn't work, it's not like I lost anything. It does seem feasible to nurse on only one side...but the unevenness might, superficially, bother me this summer. That prolly sounds bad...but I am REALLY uneven (think one D cup...one H) and it causes bra issues. I can't imagine what I might look like in a bathing suit!
I had the same issue with my son. I pumped until he was 1 year and tried drinking mother's milk tea try to get the left side to produce more, but finally decided around 12-13 months to just nurse on the right side. He just now self-weaned at around 17 months although for the last 3-4 months he'd been nursing only morning and night.