Breastfeed on One Breast to Get the Hind Milk or Switch During a Feeding??

Updated on January 03, 2011
J.L. asks from Oakland, NJ
17 answers

Hello! My son is 1 week old and he has been doing fabulous with breastfeeding. At the hospital the nurses kept telling me to nurse him 15 minutes on each breast. But he seems to be pretty full by 20 minutes so he doesn't usually want to take much of the second breast. I been trying to do some research on which way is the best way to feed them...switching breast or exclusively one breast at each feeding. I know that the Hind milk doesn't come in until later on in the feeding...and I don't want to stop him at 10 minutes so that he gets equal time on each breast and then loose out on the hind milk. So, I wanted to see what other mother are doing and what may be best,. Any info would be so greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance.


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answers from Anchorage on

I was always told to put a pin on my bra strap, and move it to the side I needed to feed on, and to feed from opposite sides each feeding, so only one breast per feeding. Do not know if this is best or not, but it was what I was told.



answers from Chicago on

I adopted so never breast fed but my sisters would BF with both breasts and they would change the diaper between breasts - that little shot of cold air would wake the baby up enough to get milk from the second breast.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Ahhhh.... You are my dream patient... First off congratulations on being able to breastfeed your little precious baby. I am not going to read any of the replies but will tell you "you have a gold star" situation. You have a one sided nurser and I loooove those babies becausee it means mom is producing a great amount of milk and that you always have that "emergency bottle" you can make.... (Whoop whoop!) Nurse him just on the one side. Do not even offer him the other side if he is content after 20 minutes on the other side. Next feeding just start with the opposite side... You have a gold mine lady.... If you stop a baby from eatting and make him take the other side you will be giving him too much foremilk and he eventually will end up with a fore milk/hind milk imbalance. He will then get this green poop! Yes in the hospital the rule is 15 minutes a side; but this is to get your milk in and you enough practice of both sides before your mature milk comes in at day 7 or 8. So now, give him one side. As h starts to get bigger and demand more, this 'gift' may not be available anymore. So right now, give him the one side. After HE breaks away (seems like 20 minutes is his time) then offer the other side. If he does not take it, then great. Just offer it next feeding or you can pump the none nursed side for freezing or for a back-up bottle. Now the next feeding, even if you did pump the other side, start your feeding on the nonfed/pumped breast. If you do not need to freeze or bottle any milk; that is fine too. Just offer the nonfed breast the next feeding.... J., I am so happy for you. Great job!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Hi There,
I am pregnant with my third, and I breastfed my first 2. I always switched breasts, but I would feed on the first until I felt it was pretty empty, then switched to the second. Sometimes the babies would feed for the same amount on the second breast, sometimes less. The next time I breastfed I would start off on the breast I ended with on the previous feeding... this is what the nurses in the hospital suggested, and it always worked for me... most people I know did it this way as well. I would wear a bracelet or a hair elastic on my wrist and switch it to the breast I left off with, so I would know where to start next time. As the baby grows, it isn't such a big deal and you just kindof go with the flow (ha, no pun intended).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hi J., congrats on the new baby! Timing each side is outdated advice. Babies should nurse on one side til they stop suckling, then sit baby up to see if there's a burp (a bf baby may not need to), then offer the other side if baby wants it.

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answers from New York on

Let him nurse on one side as long as he wants. My baby started taking both breasts only around 3-4 months.

Your supply should be roughly even between both sides if you offer the other breast at your next feeding (you would get uneven supply if he nurses more from one breast overall, but alternating is fine).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

At the beginning they breast feed more frequently for shorter periods of time. My kids would nurse for about 15-20 minutes every 2 hours, and at about 6-8 weeks they would go through a growth spurt with them nursing every hour and a half. I would let them nurse on the first breast for the 15-20 minutes, but I would make sure they would nurse on the second breast until my milk would "let down", the big rush of milk that comes before the hind milk. This would make sure that both breasts would produce equal amounts of milk. Then make sure on your next feeding to start with the breast you didn't do the long feeding on. I breastfed all of my children for at least one year and this has workd for me.

Hang in there, breastfeeding can be difficult at first, but in the long run it is what's best and definately easier.Hope this helps :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I always did one breast per feeding for my kids and they turned out great (both bf until almost 2 yrs old and were cute little chunky monkeys). I used to switch my watch from arm to arm to remind myself which breast was next, because especially with a newborn there was NO way my brain would remember on its own!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Nurse one breast per nursing session. You are correct about the hindmilk being very important and later one during the nursing of one breast. Most OB Nurses have no clue about the anatomy of the breast or what's best for breastfeeding practices. I'd contact a IBCLC if you have anymore questions. Tho I will be a CLC next month, it's very easy and simple to get that... not all CLCs have researched deeper into it, and most do not strive to become a IBCLC.

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answers from New York on

My DD nursed on one side at each feeding. She was an efficient nurser and never seemed hungry for the second breast. Trust you know your baby and see what she needs, it may change over time. Just look for the cues she gives.

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answers from New York on

Switching during feeding is important in the beginning to ensure proper milk production in both breasts. But once the milk has come in completely and your son is gaining weight at a steady pace, then you should start feeding him just on one breast per feeding to ensure he gets the all important hind milk.

Congratulations on the baby and the breastfeeding !!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I have mostly done one breast per feeding unless he is eating for a really long 20+ mins on one side... then I switch. I did research too and it seemed like in the BF community this is the general agreement. Check out for answers.


answers from Minneapolis on

Only one breast per feeding. Especially at first, because you are overproducing milk and the majority of your milk right now is foremilk because of the overproduction.

One breast per feeding so he gets the hindmilk. Its the end milk and it doens't come right away like others have posted. It takes alot of nursing for it to change to hindmilk so only allow one breast per feeding and then switch for the next feeding.


answers from Modesto on

The rich milk comes in very quickly after the initial let down. In order to keep your breasts proportionate i would take cues from the baby and nurse equally on each side. Much easier on your nipples this way as well. I never went around with one boob bigger than the other.... I didnt know anyone did that... seems odd to me.


answers from Pocatello on

you can do either way. Yes the hind milk is what has all the fat in it but it really doesn't take that long for the baby to get to that. Like if you pumped you would see that at first the milk coming out looks watery but in a matter or a minute or two it turns into that thick hind least that's what mine does. So if your baby nursed for 10 or so minutes on one side he would be getting hind milk and then if you switched breast just let him go as long as he wants so he is full. That is how I always did it. I have nursed 2 babies both for over the 1 year mark and I always did both side and had really fat babies. Like born 6 pounders but at 6 months they were both around 20 pounds! So it's whatever you want to do. As long as you feed on demand and if you do switch breast while feeding let her go as long as he wants on the second breast he will get plenty of hind milk. I also liked doing both sides so I wasn't lopsided after each feeding :) hehe



answers from Des Moines on

Congratulations on your new son and the fabulous manner in which your breastfeeding is going. That is wonderful to hear.
I have heard recommendations in both fashions, nursing one breast at each feeding, and also switching during a longer nursing session with giving a slight break between breasts.
When I breastfed I nursed one breast per feeding, and my daughters nursed frequently enough that it worked out very well. Overall that is what I have heard recommended to most as well, to nurse one breast per feeding.
Congratulations again!! Enjoy the experience!!




answers from Minneapolis on

my baby always feeds on one side each time .... he only goes for the other side when my milk supply is little low sometimes. he is now 8 months old.babies will stop when they are will know if they are still they grow you will understand their cues better. yes, it's important baby gets the hind milk. let the baby stop on his own and then offer the second side.Or if you feel like he is just sucking and sleeping and not getting anything much, then switch.always alternate sides for the next feeding- that way he will empty both sides or you will get engorged or may lose supply on one side.Hope this helps!

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