QUESTIONS: One side or two; breast pumps; mastitis
When I had my daughters 14 and 11 years ago, I was taught to feed
from one side only-putting baby back on same side after burping
to give her rich hind milk, but all the magazines I read now that
I'm expecting my third child say to nurse from both sides each
feed. I live in country Australia and don't have access to nursing
experts like I did all those years ago! I also am interested in
finding the best pump so my family can take turns to feed bubs-never
used one before as both the girls were fully breast fed and wouldn't
touch a bottle. Seeing as I have you here, is there a good way
to reduce the chance of mastitis as I had it six times with my
first and 8 times with my second child. I lived on antibiotics
and ultrasound and would obviously like to avoid that this time.
Nothing I tried worked, and as you know, the pain is excruciating.
Thanks heaps and I look forward to any advice you can give. Kara
You have discovered the "downside" of trying to educate yourself
about breastfeeding. When you are nursing your baby, there are
no hard and fast rules to follow. Women managed to successfully
nurse their babies for millions of years before they ever had
books, lactation consultants, and breastfeeding classes. Nowadays
everything has become complicated, and conflicting advice abounds.
The actual process of breastfeeding hasn't changed, but now there
is tons of information available, and it can become very confusing
for mothers who want to nurse, but don't know whose advice to
As far as
the advice about nursing on one breast versus two at a feeding,
both opinions are valid. Depending on variables like the mother's
milk supply and breast storage capacity and the baby's size and
sucking ability, your baby may take both breasts at a feeding
or he may take one. He may take both at one feeding, and be satisfied
with one at the next. Babies are really good at regulating their
own milk intake, and for the most part, will let you know whether
they need to feed on one breast or two at a feeding.
It's a good
idea to offer both breasts when your baby is a newborn, because
you need lots of stimulation in order to build a good milk supply.
If your baby won't take the second breast, and is gaining weight
appropriately, then don't worry about it. If your baby isn't gaining
weight well, then you need to make sure he finishes one breast,
and use techniques to wake him up and stimulate him to take the
find that their newborn baby will nurse on both breasts at a feeding,
then as they gets older, will start taking only one. I suggest
that you start out by offering both and then see how it goes after
lots of options regarding breast pumps, and no one pump that is
right for every mother. A lot depends on how often you pump. If
you're home with your baby and pumping only occasionally, then
you might do fine with a manual or small electric pump. On the
other hand, if you are working outside the home regularly or plan
to leave your baby with caregivers often, then you might find
it worthwhile to rent or buy a good double pump. For more details
about the different types of pumps that are available and the
pros and cons of each type, see my article "Collecting
and Storing Breastmilk."
I hate that
you had so many problems with mastitis when you were nursing your
first two babies. There is something very wrong anytime that you
experience recurrent mastitis. Nobody should have to go through
that! If you do develop mastitis with this new baby (and hopefully
you won't), then you need to find out why this is happening and
treat the cause of the infection effectively, once and for all.
I don't know exactly what treatment you have received for the
other infections, but obviously they didn't take care of the problem.
In many cases,
the infection reoccurs after treatment with antibiotics because
the original infection wasn't ever completely cleared up in the
first place. This can happen when you don't take the complete
course of medication (you feel better after a few days and stop
taking the drug - it usually takes at least 10 days of antibiotic
treatment in order for it to be effective), or when the wrong
antibiotic was prescribed for the particular strain of bacteria
causing the infection. Recurrent yeast can be caused by other,
less common reasons as well: chronic bacterial infection, cyst
or tumor in the breast, maternal anemia (this causes a lower resistance
to infection), and a secondary fungal infection.