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Second baby - question for LLL Sarah

  1. #1
    Gumboots is offline Registered User
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    Second baby - question for LLL Sarah

    Hi Sarah

    If you have time, I would love some help from you! I am expecting my second child in early March and plan to breastfeed.

    I breastfed my son for a year - for some time we had problems with an overly abundant milk supply making me very uncomfortable and causing him to get too much milk. Although I was lucky he was basically a happy baby, he did throw up a lot after feeds and was fussy on the breast from the fast let-down and too much foremilk.

    After speaking with you (thanks!) we settled into one-sided feeding which worked great for us. He gained weight very well and I was more comfortable after a while. We did one-sided feeding for a long time and only switched to both sides towards the end of our breastfeeding when my supply settled down a great deal.

    My question is: should I be assuming an overly abundant supply of milk again with my second child? I am dreading the engorgement and putting the poor baby under stress from dealing with so much milk :(

    I am wondering whether I should just start right away with one-sided feeding and stick to it again for as long as the baby is gaining weight and seems satisfied after feeds? Or, should I start off with feeding from both sides as all the books say and only change from that if we end up with the same problems as last time.

    Thanks in advance for any help that you can provide!

    Very interested also in any other mothers who have had different experiences with their milk supply etc from one baby to another. Thanks :)

  2. #2
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I've only had one child, but I only ever fed from one side - so I don't think there's anything wrong with trying that first. I'm not an expert on whether it is likely to happen again, but I do know each baby is different... my friend is very pro-breastfeeding (almost extreme) and let her first two self wean at 2+ years, tandem nursed etc... but her third refused to directly feed at all, so she's pumping 100% and bottle feeding. So things can be dramatically different even though you're doing everything the same. (although I know the difference there was with the baby rather than the mother)...

    If I was you, I'd probably start by feeding one side - there's no harm in that and it's worked for you already, and if there are problems with that way, then change it. I'd start with what's worked in the past, but also allow myself the flexibility of changing it if it's not working as well with that particular child. I probably will feed my second one side per feed, because it worked with my first - and I prefer it rather than having to stop and change sides... actually I've heard books recommending that too - it's probably just a matter of which books you're reading, who's opinion it is... there's probably no right and wrong way anyways...

    Oh I just remembered, my mum breastfed both my brother and I for as long as she could, then when her third child arrived (albeit, 16 years after me!), she didn't have the same supply and my sister was not growing as she should have been. She had to supplement with formula from a few months old - but still managed to keep up with the breastfeeding as well and she breastfed until my sister was 2+ despite her early supply issues...

  3. #3
    Gumboots is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for your reply nicolejoy!

    I definitely hear what you are saying - it is very tempting to go back down the one-sided feeding path as it was so successful the first time. It does worry me a little though that if I do that too soon - this time I might end up with a lack of milk... as ironic as that would be ;)

    Already worrying and the baby isn't even born yet!!

  4. #4
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I've heard it said that it's better to have not enough milk than to have too much - because apparently (I don't know, I'm not an expert or anything) it's easier to increase supply than to decrease it. And the issues associated with oversupply are painful to manage! (blocked ducts, mastitis etc)

  5. #5
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Dear Gumboots,

    Our usual suggestion is to feed the baby on one side until he comes off and then offer the second side. If the baby takes the second side that's fine and if the baby doesn't take the second side that fine too.

    Generally while you have colostrum the baby is willing to feed on both sides (sometimes going back to feed on both sides twice). And then as the milk increases some babies only want to feed on one side.

    To the baby it make little difference if the feed on one side or if they feed one the first side for a while and then the second for a while. But for the mother it can be a lot of relief if the baby takes just five minutes from the second side - as this means that second side doesn't have to go the length of two feed with out any of the pressure being taken off.

    As others have said each baby is different so usually we'd let the baby decide. But if you see any of the same problems starting with your second baby then it is easy to change to one side feeding and see if that helps.

    And if you are usually feeding on just one side but the baby seems to want more then if is easy to offer the second side and see if that helps the situation.

    The really good thing about breastfeeding is that there is only one rule - feed the baby! How you do the breastfeeding really doesn't matter that much so long as both you and the baby are happy.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  6. #6
    Gumboots is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Sarah and nicolejoy!

    I think I will feed on both sides before my milk comes in and then I guess I will just have to see how we go...

    Like you say, all babies are different. Maybe this baby will stop drinking before s/he overflows with milk. My son always seemed inclined to try to finish what was on offer - even when it filled him up and over the top :)

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