There are a few things that make you stop and wonder as you get used to the breastfeeding process. For example, one breast pumps more milk than your other one, even though you have treated the same since the beginning. Is this normal? Is there a way to change it so that both breasts produce the same amount of milk? Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how one looks at it, the body is a unique piece of equipment that just might work in a way that you hadn’t expected. Having one side produce more or less milk than another is actually pretty common.
- There could be several reasons why you have an overachieving or an underachieving breast when the other side seems to be adequate. The first reason might be that there was a breast injury at some point in your childhood or maybe even a surgery. The trauma could have affected the milk ducts on one side, but not the other. Breast implants could also affect the milk supply on one side more than another, depending on how the muscles and ducts rest against the implant. A woman will not know how the breast is affected until it comes time to actually nurse and find out what, if any, damage there is to the breast.
- A woman who has never had surgery or trauma might have problems producing milk on one side for no apparent reason. There are times when the dominant side just produces more than the other side. Just like your hearing and vision might be stronger on one side, the milk ducts could also be stronger. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your body, just that the brain has programmed one side to work more efficiently than the other.
Start with the smaller breast
- When you want to try and get the production the same on both sides, there are a few tips to try out. Instead of alternating feedings, always start at the smaller breast and make sure it gets emptied at each feeding. By emptying those milk ducts first each time, it might give them a chance to fill up first and increase production since it is always used up first. Just make sure that the other breast still gets used, either by baby or with a breast pump. domain archive You wouldn’t want the other side to lessen production in an effort to be the same.
Your daily tasks?
- See if you can reduce the use on that side of your body for a while. Is there something repetitive that you do at work with your arm, shoulder or upper torso that can be eliminated for a few weeks? Just like working out can work against your body and start to decrease the milk supply, an action at work could also trigger something to dry up on that side more so than the other side. It is typical that the hand you write with will produce more milk because it is the dominant side, but then if it is used heavily, it could go the other way and limit the supply instead of being the dominant side.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, the milk will just diminish on one side or even through both breasts without an explanation. The doctor might have some medicine that could help get the milk back, but sometimes the side effects of the medicine is not worth the price of taking it. When your baby seems to still be hungry after feeding from both breasts, then it might be time to wean or at least supplement the feedings so they continue to thrive and grow.