10 week old breast feeding one side or both

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10 week old breast feeding one side or both

Postby Hannah » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 10:38 am

My daughter is a good feeder but since birth has only ever taken one side when breast feeding. Now I think she could drink more butnI'm not sure whether to offer the second side after a nappy change, or the first side again. My reasoning is to do with the type of milk she would be getting. Offer the second side and she'll be getting more of the fore milk, rather than offering the first side again and she'll get more of the hind milk. Is there a right or wrong answer?
Thank you,
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Re: 10 week old breast feeding one side or both

Postby NgalaOnline » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 10:44 pm

Hi Hannah

Thank you for your post. There is a lot of variety in the feeding patterns of babies, often without there being a "right or wrong answer". It is, however, quite common for babies to first just take one side per breastfeed but to then progress onto seeking both breasts per feed somewhere between 6 - 12 weeks of age. Around this time the breastmilk supply often settles down a little to more of a supply and demand pattern, whereas before 6 weeks many women are experiencing some oversupply of milk in response to postnatal hormones. The settling of the oversupply means many babies do begin to seek both breasts per feed. Babies also typically become much quicker and more efficient at draining the breast as they get older, and often by the time they are 3 or 4 months old they are able to drain a breast very well in quite a short period of time. So long as you feel that your first breast has been well drained (it feels comfortable, soft and not lumpy) it is a good idea to offer the baby the second side. She may not take as much on this side, it is often "main course" on the first side then "dessert" on the second. At the next feed, offer the second side to your baby first to ensure this breast gets enough drainage and stimulation.

Lactation science is beginning to move away from discussing the concepts of "hindmilk and foremilk" as these terms tend to give the perception that there are 2 distinct types of milk. In actuality, milk just slowly changes composition throughout a feed with the milk slowly becoming fattier. Research shows that usually the body of the mother adapts very well in response to the feeding behaviours of her baby and adjusts the milk accordingly so that the baby typically receives an optimal amount of higher fat and also lower fat milk with most feeding patterns or behaviours. Offering both sides to your baby and observing your baby's response sounds like a sensible idea. You might also like to discuss this with the Australian Breastfeeding Association via their helpline on 1800 686 268. I hope this information is helpful.
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