10 doctors weighed in:

Is it necessary to breastfeed from both sides in one feeding?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

Many moms have lots of milk, and many babies are satisfied with just one breast.
The general recommendation is that if you feed only one breast, then start the next feed on the un-nursed side. I recommend to pump the side he did not nurse. This builds a supply for dad to be able to feed the child. Pumping also prevents being lopsided, which can be uncomfortable.

In brief: No

Many moms have lots of milk, and many babies are satisfied with just one breast.
The general recommendation is that if you feed only one breast, then start the next feed on the un-nursed side. I recommend to pump the side he did not nurse. This builds a supply for dad to be able to feed the child. Pumping also prevents being lopsided, which can be uncomfortable.
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Thank
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

But it is more comfortable for most women to relieve breast engorgement on both sides at each feeding.
Some feed one side and pump the other if they have more milk than the baby can use.

In brief: No

But it is more comfortable for most women to relieve breast engorgement on both sides at each feeding.
Some feed one side and pump the other if they have more milk than the baby can use.
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Thank
Dr. Jennifer Thomas
Pediatrics

In brief: No

The first milk in the breast, the "foremilk" is low in calories and is a thirst-quencher. As the feeding goes on, the fat content is higher, the "hindmilk.
" the baby benefits from getting both the foremilk and hindmilk and should stay on one breast until they take themselves off. The second breast can be offered, but isn't necessary. Artificial time limits on feeding are, well, artificial.

In brief: No

The first milk in the breast, the "foremilk" is low in calories and is a thirst-quencher. As the feeding goes on, the fat content is higher, the "hindmilk.
" the baby benefits from getting both the foremilk and hindmilk and should stay on one breast until they take themselves off. The second breast can be offered, but isn't necessary. Artificial time limits on feeding are, well, artificial.
Dr. Jennifer Thomas
Dr. Jennifer Thomas
Thank
Dr. Lawrence Wasser
Pediatrics

In brief: No

It is not necessary, but you might get engorged on the unfed side, so using both breasts at each feeding is preferred.

In brief: No

It is not necessary, but you might get engorged on the unfed side, so using both breasts at each feeding is preferred.
Dr. Lawrence Wasser
Dr. Lawrence Wasser
Thank
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics

In brief: No

It is not "necessary"- many mom's try to nurse from both breasts each feeding to avoid feeling overfull or engorged on one side.
Also, babies can start to "prefer" one breast over the other. So, in general, let the baby nurse for 7-15 min on the first breast, then switch. If the baby does not take the second breast, you can express some milk, and be sure to start on that breast for the next feedin.

In brief: No

It is not "necessary"- many mom's try to nurse from both breasts each feeding to avoid feeling overfull or engorged on one side.
Also, babies can start to "prefer" one breast over the other. So, in general, let the baby nurse for 7-15 min on the first breast, then switch. If the baby does not take the second breast, you can express some milk, and be sure to start on that breast for the next feedin.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Thank
Dr. Patricia Vuguin
Pediatrics

In brief: Yes

Ideally at the beginning you should try to record the time and duration of each breastfeeding, and to determine whether the amount of urine and stool is adequate for your baby's age also, it is important to see that the baby is growing.

In brief: Yes

Ideally at the beginning you should try to record the time and duration of each breastfeeding, and to determine whether the amount of urine and stool is adequate for your baby's age also, it is important to see that the baby is growing.
Dr. Patricia Vuguin
Dr. Patricia Vuguin
Thank
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics

In brief: No

Not absolutely and certainly not mandatory for the baby, especially if mom's supply is really strong.
Most people will recommend some feeding off the other side, however, if only to 'take the edge off' of the fullness you might experience waiting until the next round. In short, if the baby is gaining strong weight and mom isnt uncomfortable, then it really doesn't matter.

In brief: No

Not absolutely and certainly not mandatory for the baby, especially if mom's supply is really strong.
Most people will recommend some feeding off the other side, however, if only to 'take the edge off' of the fullness you might experience waiting until the next round. In short, if the baby is gaining strong weight and mom isnt uncomfortable, then it really doesn't matter.
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
26 years in practice
49M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors