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should i offer both breasts or stick to one?

when i first had my baby i was told to only offer the second breast at a feed if he'd had a good half hour on the first one. The rationale for this was that he needs both foremilk and hindmilk. However, now he's four weeks old his feeds have shortened from 30-40 mins to 10-20. Often he'll come off after ten, have his nappy done and want more. Do I still give him the same side or swap to the other side? The health visitor told me he needs to be offered both breasts at a feed - but usually we dont make the half hour before he's finished. Its all very confusing as the literature i was given told me to give him one breast for however long he wants it, then offer the other regardless of how long he's had right from the beginning :roll: so much conflicting advice! Don't want to be denying him hindmilk but also sometimes think if he had both boobs the feed would be over quicker.


  • I've always just done one at a time xx
  • My HV said to keep offering the same breast, that way they get a drink, steak and chips and then cheese and biscuits! which is the really good calorific creamy milk at the end.

    Hope that helps

  • if its a hort feed i offer the same one again then if she faffs after that popping on and off i offer the other, in the night she just has one side x
  • I just offer 1 side per feed. I wouldn't worry that the feeds have shortened as your baby will be getting more efficient at getting the milk, and for some of the longer feeds its important to remember that she may not actually be 'drinking' all the time as she can tweak her sucking technique to get milk or just comfort suck.

  • i've always been told to let them go as long as possible on one until they take themselves off. Then offer the other side as pudding and a cup of tea. At bf drop in they said there is a small chance they don't get as much hind milk but that this method was good for making sure they feel satisfied and full after. I guess pudding would be the first milk which is fattier? Do whatever your instinct tells you. Babies are all different and my Connor occasionally only takes one side but then the gap is longer when he's had both even if the 2 feeds are similar length. Make sure if you offer the 2nd side and its not drained that you offer that same side first time at the next feed. They both need to be fully drained regularly to prevent milk stagnation. X
  • thanks ladies, think i will try and get as long as possible each side, have never taken him off as i know you should let them come off naturally but it was the short feeds where he then wants more that were confusing me. once he has been on 30 mins or so he does the tiny little sucks and swallows, if he gets that far and comes off himself, then wants more, ill give him the other side. this is pretty much what ive always done and he's gained 3 pounds in 4 weeks. sometimes at night ive been guilty of swapping boobs sooner to fill him up so we can go back to bed! but shouldnt need to do this as tbh night feeds are pretty short now anyway. think henry likes his bed at night too!

    tuliprose how are you doing? hope you can see a light at the end of the tunnel now :/ xx
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