Q: My baby seems full after breastfeeding on just one breast. Do I have to use both breasts for each feeding?
A: Depending on your baby's appetite, one breast is perfectly capable of giving him a full meal. Watch your baby swallowing as he nurses. When he stops gulping down the milk or takes longer breaks between swallows, you'll know he's getting full. It's better to allow your baby to drain one breast well instead of taking a little milk from each, because the richest, most filling part of your milk (called hindmilk) comes after the breast has been drained of the more watery foremilk.
After your baby finishes one breast and burps, offer him the other. If he's hungry, he'll take it; if not, start the next feeding with breast number two. Remembering which breast to start on can be tricky, especially during those zombie-like middle-of-the-night feedings. As a reminder, some moms wear a designated bracelet and move it from wrist to wrist to know which breast to start with next time. Others attach a safety pin to their bra strap.
Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.