BFing - one side or both?

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BFing - one side or both?

Postby Lily » 17 Apr 2015, 13:21

Bit of a random question, but I noticed in one of the millions of leaflets I've been given that it says babies get more nourishment from 5 mins on each breast than from 10 mins on one. The context was that if your newborn is too sleepy to stay awake for a long feed (I wish!), you should be swapping sides midway through. But I'm sure I remember being told the opposite with Izbiz - better to get them to stay on one side for longer, so they can get more hind milk.

Any thoughts? Bee is a cluster-feeder so usually awake for ages, and if anything my problem is oversupply so I don't want to swap her over too frequently. I just thought the contradiction was odd.
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Re: BFing - one side or both?

Postby yorkshirepudding » 17 Apr 2015, 13:49

Hmmm, I always read about keeping them on one side until they'd finished so they get the hind milk, surely if you swap that quick they'd get all foremilk each time. Unless they've drained 1 breast after 5 mins! And also maybe more likely to get colic if you swap them over quickly, as they're getting all the fast flow and probably taking in more air. Bizarre conradiction!
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Re: BFing - one side or both?

Postby Fish&Chips » 17 Apr 2015, 16:34

Also when u swap too quickly it's more possible to create an imbalance between fore and hind milk (which results in green poo if I remember correctly). It took me a while to figure out when the breast is empty and I used to swap C after some 20 mins I think, but actually that was too early and the breast was still not empty. He got green poos for a while until I googled it and found I swap boobs too quick...
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Re: BFing - one side or both?

Postby mamapup » 17 Apr 2015, 17:50

I know our mums will have been told to swap sides pretty quickly but I was told better to empty one side than give too much fore milk.
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Re: BFing - one side or both?

Postby Treeb » 17 Apr 2015, 18:25

I usually tried to follow L's lead with this. When he was tiny he preferred to nurse on only one side for a longer time, when he was bigger he liked to switch sides. I agree that a longer time on one side makes a lot more sense for getting the full spectrum of milk that is produced over the length of a feed.
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Re: BFing - one side or both?

Postby Lily » 17 Apr 2015, 19:07

Glad it's not just me - the leaflet had me thoroughly puzzled!
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Re: BFing - one side or both?

Postby junglewonderland » 17 Apr 2015, 20:48

It depends on the mother and baby. All going well, it's better to drain one breast before switching to the other. But if the baby is sleepy, or not a strong sucker, or you need to increase your supply, it's better to switch more frequently as the baby will get more milk for the effort as she gets faster flow at the start of each feed. Hth!
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Re: BFing - one side or both?

Postby DandelionFrosting » 18 Apr 2015, 00:41

I also thought the quick switch was more about increasing supply than what the baby gets to eat. That's how I got myself a massive oversupply with Saurus. Green cappuccino diapers and LOTS of miserable sleep -- not fun! The second time around one side at a time worked just fine.
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Re: BFing - one side or both?

Postby Turtle'sMammy » 18 Apr 2015, 01:08

I had oversupply, so block fed. One side per feeding. It's only recently that A has been insisting on both sides, but she's nearly 3.
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Re: BFing - one side or both?

Postby Brigitte » 18 Apr 2015, 17:43

With my firstborn, she would fall asleep on boob #1, then I would wake her up to finish boob #2. Lord knows why, I just figured I was supposed to do both at one feeding. Luckily I very quickly realized "eff this" and became a one boob per feeding woman, unless the baby for some reason was still awake and hungry after draining one. My second child close to age 2 suddenly started saying "All done this one! Nurse that one!" so now I'm a two-boob mama as per her requests.

I agree with most of the comments here about hind milk and draining one breast and supply.
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Re: BFing - one side or both?

Postby Marrow » 18 Apr 2015, 18:41

My impression is that many worry too much about this. It might have been a problem back in the day when mothers were told five mins on each breast every four hours and no more, but as long as you are demand feeding and letting them come off themselves, it's big a problem. The Kellymom page looks like it has some useful links at the bottom: ... -hindmilk/
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