Refusal of one Breast

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2009
Refusal of one Breast
3
Fri, 03-01-2013 - 9:35am

I've been pumping for my 11 week old since she was a few days old due to weight loss, poor latch, etc.  She has a particularly hard time with one side.  It is oddly shaped and she has a shallow latch on it.  She gets frustrated and gives up right after a let down, so she only gives it maybe 10 sucks or so, even though she does get the milk and swallow.  I've been pumping it every time we feed and I get 2 ounces from it.  I would like to keep it lactating so that when she will take it, there will be milk ready.  She has been having bottles all along.  I don't feel like the bottle has caused nipple preference because she will breastfeed nicely on the other side. My question is, should I be feeding her that 2 ounces in a bottle after every feed?  She seems marginally content after taking the first side.

Thanks for your help.  This board helped me so much 6 years ago when I had a similar situation!  That baby became a great nurser and we nursed for 3 years!  Very much hoping that will happen again!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Sat, 03-02-2013 - 9:38am

Normally a baby can get enough milk from just one breast. I think the question in your situation is if the baby is currently gaining weight ok.

Are you giving bottles of ebm b/c of the slow gain? If the baby is doing better with breastfeeding and gaining weight ok you may be able to slowly wean off the ebm bottles while continuing to try the breast she won’t take. Here’s how to wean from supplements

Weaning from supplements:

http://parenting.ivillage.com/baby/bbreastfeed/0,,9w8tjqsd,00.html

Here are some ideas to help her take the other breast. You can start on the breast she likes and then after she’s been on for a while see if she’ll switch over to the breast she hasn’t been latching to. Try keeping her in the same position, in other words just slide her over without flipping her head and feet in the other direction.

If you aren’t already working directly with an LC that too would be a good idea. She might suggest a nipple shield for the breast she doesn’t take as a temporary measure to help her accept it. I would definitely want you to work with an LC though if you are going to try the shield.

Get back and let me know about how the baby is doing with weight gain and how much she’s getting per day of ebm bottles. Also, tell me what you have tried so far to get her to take the breast she doesn’t like.

Warmly,

iVillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas and Charlotte    

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2009
Sun, 03-03-2013 - 2:55pm

Thanks for your reply.  Her weight gain has been excellent with my pumping and giving bottles.  I'm currently weaning her off of the bottles, but still could not get her to nurse on that left side.  I think I have figured out the problem though.  I ALWAYS hold her on the left side to give her the bottle.  I think she associated being moved to the left side with the easy bottle, but when she was presented with the left breast, it was not acceptable.  I couldn't believe she could make that much of an association, but I have stopped holding her that way for bottles and she has greatly improved on the left side.

I'm watching her weight as I do this, but I'm reducing the number of ounces she gets in a bottle.  The total ebm she had Thursday was 8 oz, but I had pumped 12.5, Friday she had 7 oz, but I pumped 11, and Saturday she had 4 oz, but I pumped 9.  The hardest time is in the evening when it seems like she isn't even patient enough to get the flow going.  I gave her 2oz in a bottle last at that time.  I'm thinking that is okay as long as I pump at least that amount out at that same time, right?  It's just so tricky right now, but I feel like we are so close.  I don't want to deprive her of any milk.

My plan is to pump morning, midday and night for right now, just for comfort and to avoid plugged ducts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Sun, 03-03-2013 - 9:20pm

Wow, sounds like you are doing a great job. If she’s really resistant to taking the left in the evening time you can always start on the right and switch after a few minutes or instead of giving 2oz try just giving 1oz and then back to the breast if she’ll do that. Don’t forget it’s normal to be fussy and cluster feed in the evening and as long as the weight gain and diaper count remains adequate then the fussiness can just be ‘normal’.

You are correct to pump just a little more than you give each day in the bottles. So as you wean off the bottles you can also wean off the pumping

Keep us posted but you’re doing a great job working toward your goal.

Warmly,

iVillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas and Charlotte    

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte