We humans aren’t perfect. Let’s start there. I’m not speaking in a grand sense. Obviously, we’re flawed in a lot of ways, but more important to the question at hand: we’re not symmetrical. By eighteen months, many babies are already showing a preference for one hand over the other. Very few of us are ambidextrous. Most of us also have one foot that’s a little bigger than the other. In fact, the human body is by and large asymmetrical, so it should come as no surprise that one of your breasts may produce more milk than the other.
In most cases, uneven milk production is a result of this natural asymmetry. One breast may have more milk-producing tissue, larger milk ducts, or a more forceful letdown response. However, milk production is directly linked to milk consumption, so if your baby favors one breast over the other, the preferred breast will produce more milk.
As long as your baby is developing normally, and you’re not physically uncomfortable as a result of the imbalance, there’s really no reason to worry about it. If you’d like to try to even things out a bit, though, try these tips.
Lead with the low-producing breast
Remember, an empty breast produces more milk, so start with the low-producing breast when you nurse your baby and encourage him to empty it completely before moving the the more productive breast. The more you nurse with the low-producing breast, the more milk it will produce.
Use your breast pump to increase your supply
Again, the more frequently you empty your breasts, the more milk they’ll produce. Use your breast pump to completely empty breasts after a feeding and to express milk from your low-producing breast between feedings.
Encourage baby to be an equal opportunity nurser
If baby shows a preference, find ways to encourage him to give the low-producing breast a little more attention. This may mean experimenting with different nursing positions and taking advantage of those moments when he’s feeling less finicky.
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