New moms who are breastfeeding for the first time will have many concerns, and one of them is the production of breast milk. Why does one breast produce more milk than the other?
There are many causes for this problem. It could be the result of anatomical asymmetry. Possibly, when the baby prefers to suck on one side over the other, it will produce more milk than usual.
This problem happens to most nursing mothers, but it’s not serious. The baby is still getting enough nutrients and growing healthy.
Yet, having one breast is not proportionate to the other’s affects a mother’s aesthetics and confidence. If you have such trouble, this article can help you!
Why Is One Side Of Your Breasts Producing More Milk?
Lactation consultant Leigh Anne O’Connor says that uneven milk supply is a fairly common problem. You don’t need to worry too much about it.
There are many causes of a slacker boob when breast pumping or breastfeeding.
* Slacker boob or lazy boob is the term used to refer to one breast producing less milk than the other.
1. Baby’s Preference
Many babies prefer a single breast, and this is completely normal. A type of malformation often occurs when a baby is born, torticollis, which causes its neck to deform to one side.
A nipple is sucked for longer and produces more milk because the let-down reflex is activated. Mothers who see this may also have their babies suckle there more.
2. Low Breast Tissue
Breast tissue is the organ responsible for breast milk production in the body. It will increase during your pregnancy and make you feel tight.
After you give birth to your baby, this amount of tissue will increase even more strongly. However, many women will have an imbalanced amount of tissue on either side of their breasts.
Don’t worry because this is completely normal. It only affects the breast milk supply.
Some surgeries can affect breast milk production in one breast.
These include breast reduction or augmentation surgery. These surgeries cut the milk ducts or directly affect the nerves in that breast.
If you are concerned that having surgery will affect your lactation, talk to your doctor for helpful advice.
4. Differences In Anatomy
The anatomy of each breast can be slightly different, affecting your baby’s feeding preference and frequency. Usually, one breast will have more ducts and active alveoli.
Having multiple clogged ducts can block the milk supply. In addition, some women also have differences between the areola and nipples in size or shape (flat or inverted). The baby may recognize that and prefer to suck at that nipple.
5. Breast Trauma
Injuries to the breast that occur during nursing or breast pumping can also limit its ability to make breast milk.
This problem has many causes, such as using the wrong size flanges or improperly latching. Not many mothers have to go through this problem.
6. Differences In Let-down Reflex
The difference can also come from the force of milk production from the breast. The baby may not like to suck on the side that has a weaker let-down reflex.
If the let-down reflex is too strong, it will cause the baby to choke and obsess.
Is It Normal For One Breast To Produce Less Milk?
A slacker boob is a condition that nursing moms often encounter. So, you don’t have to worry too much about this.
Experts say that if your body produces enough milk for your baby, you don’t need to correct an uneven supply. Even if one side of you is a slacker boob, the other side will make up for it strongly. If you still have concerns, observe your baby’s development.
The Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that signs that a baby is getting enough nutrients include:
- Diapers are often wet and dirty.
- Babies eat at least eight times a day and look satisfied after each meal.
- Steady weight gain and no signs of malnutrition.
However, there are still some notable cases of uneven breast milk supply.
Contact a medical professional if you notice that your body is producing less breast milk over time. In addition, you also need advice when the baby refuses to feed on the other side.
A baby’s refusal to feed evenly from both sides can cause the other side to become engorged or full of milk. This feeling is extremely uncomfortable and can even lead to infection or fever.
How To Increase Milk Supply In One Breast
If uneven breast milk supply is causing you serious health problems, or you simply don’t like this lopsided look, try these methods to increase breast milk production in a slacker boob.
1. Start Nursing In The Slacker Boob Side First
Newborns tend to suck more vigorously at the beginning. So, you can take advantage of this to fix your problem.
Feed on the less productive side. It is a way to encourage the breast to produce more milk for the next time.
2. Take Advantage Of A Breast Pump
After breastfeeding, use a breast pump to drain any excess milk from your breasts. This action can increase the output of the milk supply.
You can freeze and store this milk for future use. Alternatively, you can also use your own pump or add a pumping session to the slack area. Even if the let-down reflex doesn’t occur, nipple stimulation can have benefits later in life.
During pumping, milk will flow from both breasts. Therefore, you need to have a breast pad or catcher on the other side to avoid leakage problems.
However, you should not forget to pump in the more productive areas. It can cause blocked ducts, engorgement, or even mastitis that way.
3. Breast Compressions
Breast compression provides great impact and pressure to stimulate this part to make more milk. It is the right method when you are tired of pumping and want to focus your efforts on getting rid of lopsided boobs.
The method of performing the therapy is extremely simple. Simply massage the boob with your hands and try to push as much milk out of the duct. If your hands are tired, stop for a few minutes to rest. Wearing a hand-free bra will make this process go easier.
4. Change Breastfeeding Position
Try new nursing positions to make your baby comfortable while eating.
A football hold is the most common position and will be helpful for mothers with overactive letdowns. Also, a laid-back position is suitable for back pain while breastfeeding.
Many mothers can also try breastfeeding while their babies are sleeping. Dream-feeding will make it easier for you to change the baby’s position.
5. Breastfeed Regularly
Do not delay children’s eating time, but feed them whenever they are hungry. The milk sucking will also stimulate the production more strongly.
You should feed your baby every two hours or follow Cluster Pumping each day until he regains weight. Then let the baby nurse on demand.
6. Use A Pumping Log
You can also use a diary or adjust your schedule when changing your breastfeeding and pumping habits.
Most moms notice a change in milk supply within three to five days, but please be patient. This adjustment will take time, so praise the baby if they do well.
7. Stay Healthy
For optimal breast milk production, always get enough sleep and drink plenty of water. You need a healthy body to take care of your baby.
If you realize your milk supply has dropped, talk to your lactation consultant about getting galactagogue assistance. It is a natural enhancer or a prescription drug that increases milk production. Some foods that contain galactagogue are garlic, barley, alfalfa, fennel, and curries.
How Long Does It Take For Breast Milk Supply To Even Out?
After your baby is born, your prolactin (milk-making hormone) levels increase as you pump.
During this stage, the mother’s body will produce a lot of breast milk, causing a feeling of tightness and leakage. This phenomenon can worry many people. Yet, rest assured that it is completely harmless to the body. The main reason is that the body considers how much breast milk the baby needs every hour.
This phase will last from four to six weeks. After that, prolactin will gradually decrease so that the body begins to produce breast milk according to the needs of the baby.
Even so, it will take time for the body to adjust hormone levels back into balance. Many people notice a rapid drop in milk supply, while others have to wait 6 to 12 months.
Should You Pump Even If No Milk Comes Out?
When practicing cluster pumping, you should have a specific schedule. The recommended pattern is pump-rest alternating with 10 minutes for each session, except for the first 20-minute pumping session.
However, it is important that the mother feels most comfortable and relaxed when practicing. Each person’s body will have its own schedule.
If you are pumping more on schedule but still have no milk, don’t worry and continue. This action signals the body to produce more breast milk. It may take you a few days or a week to notice the difference, but it’s worth it.
Is It Possible For One Breast To Dry Up?
One breast can completely dry up if you don’t express or breastfeed there often. This situation occurs when the mother decides to nurse the baby on one side.
When one breast “dries up,” it will be much smaller than the other. It makes your overall breasts uneven.
Don’t worry because this doesn’t last long. When weaning happens, most women will get their breasts back.
Is There A Difference Between Left And Right Breast Milk?
There is a difference between the left and right breasts in milk production. Specifically, studies have shown that the right breast can produce more milk than the left.
This disparity emerges fairly early in lactation and is relatively consistent throughout. However, it was not related to total milk production.
What Vitamin Helps Dense Breast Tissue?
Breast density is often a genetic problem, but it is also affected by many other factors. Causes of breast density are aging, pregnancy, or tamoxifen use. In addition, having a low body mass index and using hormone replacement therapy after menopause is also notable reasons.
Studies have proven that vitamin D and calcium can reduce breast density in premenopausal women. As a result, they are a simple, inexpensive, and safe strategy to prevent breast cancer.
You can completely get calcium and vitamins through your diet or by consuming supplements. It will also be of great help to your health.
What Are The Signs Of Uneven Milk Supply When Nursing?
There are many signs of an uneven supply of breast milk during breastfeeding. One of the good examples is the let-down.
The side with a powerful let-down can force the baby to stop sucking and switch to the other side. In the long run, this causes the baby to no longer want to nurse on that breast and causes it to dry out.
Also, you may notice a difference in the size of your breasts. Usually, the breast that makes more milk is bigger and heavier than the other.
In summary, there’re many causes, such as natural anatomy, effects of breastfeeding habits, etc for one breast producing more milk than the other when breastfeeding and pumping. But, it is important to note that this problem does not affect health. As long as the baby is still getting enough nutrients, it shouldn’t be a big deal.
If you want to overcome this situation, try changing your pumping habits as well as having a stronger impact on the slacker boob.
Hopefully, this article has helped you even out two breasts and feels more confident. Don’t forget to share your personal experience!
Thank you for reading!