Struggles And Solutions: One Breast Produces More Milk
Do you have one super producer breast while the other is barely yielding an ounce? You are not alone!
Lopsided breast is a common situation.
No formula can ever compare to your breast milk, it is simply the best for baby. But in order for us parents to give out the best for our child, we must also be in our best health and form.
Uneven breast milk supply is a common struggle of mothers. To balance out feeding especially if one breast produces more milk than the other is difficult. The baby usually favors a side over the other due to a lot of factors. It is commonplace yet is there a remedy for this one?
Balance It And Act Fast
When you encounter lopsided breasts and uneven milk supply, make a point to correct it immediately. When you allow for some time to have one breast produce more milk than the other, it can eventually lead to premature weaning.
Your other breast can gradually reduce what it produces and then dry up, which will cut your milk supply in half.
A baby grows fast and having just one breast to supply his needs will make him hungry. You can now see the equation; this scenario will lead to bottle feeding if you are not wary.
Lopsided Breasts: The Reason Behind
Although all breasts are created unequal and not so symmetrical, asymmetrical breasts can be unsightly. It is uncomfortable if another side can get engorged and heavy while the other one is limp and light. With breastfeeding as with other concerns involving a baby, patience is the key.
Even if a baby has consistently favored a breast over the other for weeks, there is still hope that the idle breasts can be revived.
The factors that contribute to unequal breast milk supply are mostly due to:
• Baby’s preference – The baby might favor a side over the other. It might be due to a lot of factors which are outside of mom’s body.
When the baby shows the outright refusal to latch on the one side, better bring this concern to your pediatrician.
In most cases, it is just a preference but on other times, it may be due to a one-sided ear infection or discomfort due to a birth injury or recent illness.
• Mom’s dominant hand – You might prefer to hold his head on your right side if it is your dominant hand. It is the most comfortable position for you and you just want to make baby safe for longer feeding times.
If that’s the case, your other breast will not get the attention it deserves. If this continues, there will be less sucking and therefore, less supply.
• Breast Size Anatomic Difference – Mom might have a breast which is smaller than the other even before pregnancy. The lesser-sized side has less mammary gland in them so even when full with milk, it will hold less volume.
• Forceful or Weak Letdown – One side of your breasts might have a fast letdown and baby feels overwhelmed. Milk drips around the cheeks and baby’s neck which signal fast letdown.
On the other hand:
A weak flow can make baby feel frustrated. When nursing this side, he might suck harder and longer just to feel full. When either of this happens, it is natural for a baby to favor one breast over the other.
To improve letdown on an idle breast, stimulate it through breast compression or what is called as reverse pressure softening.
Tips To Balance Uneven Breast Milk Supply
# Start on your breast’ weaker side
One of the best ways to even out supply when one breast produces more milk is to start with the smaller or weaker breast. If the baby is picky, initially give your smaller breasts during those times when he is sleepy and hungry, such as on his nighttime feeding sessions.
You will be surprised on how much your baby can suck out of a small breast when hungry.
It will also be better at first if he is sleepy so that he will hardly tell the difference. He will most likely empty out the weaker boob this way. The voracious sucking will likewise help that side to awaken lazy mammary glands and produce more milk later on.
# Warm it
Warmth stimulates milk production. Put on a warm towel or wrap all around your weaker boob and let it there for a few minutes. You will feel a tingling sensation similar to quick engorgement when done right.
On the first try, it might not be effective but it can also add just a little more milk supply after a few tries.
# Find a relaxing location and use a good nursery glider
If you are usually feeding in bed or sofa, you might find a harder time to support baby’s head and increasing weight. You will then likely to nurse on the side that is most comfortable, thereby neglecting the other.
The best advice is feed in a comfortable nursery glider. Its design is conducive to comfort so that you can breastfeed equally at both sides for longer stretches of time.
# Pump it out
If baby plays favorites with your boobies, continue to stimulate the least favored side through regular pumping. The dominant breast can produce way more than twice as compared to the limp one but with through pumping, it can get even. It is better to pump immediately after eating and having a warm bath.
# Do not neglect the other breast
You might have paid a lot of attention to the weaker breast just to revive it but do not forget the other! This is baby’s favorite side so offer this to him once he is done emptying the smaller breast.
If he is already full (which can rarely happen if the other breast is still weaker), then pump out some. You want to balance both sides or else, the baby will again favor just one side.
# Drink more water
Have a large glass with you during feeding. Sip water while feeding the baby, especially when he is latched on the smaller breast. Before you pump, make sure to drink more water, you will need it to allow your milk to flow faster.
If you had just given birth a few days ago, drinking water will also help you to have more milk and to ease the difficulties brought about by water retention.
# Latch baby right
A newborn baby might have a difficulty latching on one side. This must be correctly immediately so that he will not favor just the side where he can latch easily. The best way to latch baby is to bring his head slightly upward and to put his chin closest to the breast.
Find a comfortable angle while letting your areola touch the baby’s bottom lip. You may also express some milk through nipple press or breast massage before latching, letting it flow easier during baby’s first time.
# Eat lactogenic foods
With the right foods, your breast milk can flow abundantly. During this time, since your baby is depending on you for nourishment, eat only what is whole and nutritious.
The most common lactogenic foods that can stimulate milk production are right under your kitchen cupboard.
Green leafy vegetables are your best bet, as well as papaya, garlic, and ginger. Carrots, yam, sesame seed and sesame oil also work wonders. Spinach and whole oats are also of great help to speed up your milk production.
Some mothers are a natural when it comes to breastfeeding but not everyone can do it perfectly all the time. Our bodies are bound to have cycles and we are not at our best on some days.
It is understandable if your body is not producing equal amounts of milk, even its consistency and color change every day.
A baby can also get unpredictable and will tend to favor the useful side of mom’s breast. Do not wait then for the weaker breast to get engorged. If not pumped on a regular basis, it will dry up so do your part and empty it well.
Remember also that it’s perfectly OK to mistakes along the way. As long as you are breastfeeding, you are doing something remarkable. Cheers to you hero mom!