A slacker boob or a lopsided boob is the breast that is producing less milk than the other. Learn how to fix uneven milk supply due to lopsided breasts.
It is not unusual for breastfeeding moms to encounter that their one breasts are making more milk than the other.
Moms who are exclusively pumping are quicker to realize this as you can see that your pumping milk output significantly varies from one breast to another.
Since you cannot see how much your baby eats while nursing, a breastfeeding mom may not easily find out if they have a slacker boob.
How do you know if you have lopsided breasts?
Here is how to find out if one of your girls has let you done.
It is easier to see that you have uneven breasts when you are pumping because you can compare your milk output from each breast. Now you can?t expect both your breasts to produce exactly the same amount of milk each time you pump.
It is totally normal for pump output to vary between each breast. But when you see that your the majority of your milk is only coming from one breast and the other side produces little to nothing, then you will know you have uneven breasts.
It is tricky to find how much each breast is producing when breastfeeding. Because there is no way to measure how much milk your baby is drawing from each milk.
But, if you notice that your baby is always preferring to drink from one side, or becoming fussy or restless when you change sides, then it could be because your other breast is not producing enough milk to satisfy your baby.
Size of the breasts:
Let me be very clear that the size of the breasts does not determine how much milk you produce. But, when you are producing less milk on one breast, then the other (milk-producing) side can look bigger or feel firmer compared to the non-milk producing side.
Now, that you know how to find out if one breast is producing more milk than the other, you might be interested to see why some women face the problems that come with lopsided breasts.
Why does one breast make more milk than the other?
Some of the reasons for having lopsided breasts can be normal and is not a matter of concern. But, sometimes, especially when one of your breasts suddenly stops making milk, it is better to check with your doctor.
A study comparing the milk output of exclusively pumping women found that right breast produces more milk than the left. The study also says that it is common for one breast to be producing more milk than the other.
Prior Sickness or Surgery
Medical treatment like chemotherapy can damage milk ducts in a breast resulting in low milk supply.
Breastfeeding on my left side came naturally to me. Every time I would automatically take my baby to my left breast, but I had to remind myself to start alternating between breasts forcefully.
Just like mommies, babies can take sides too. If one of your breasts has a slow letdown, your baby will prefer to take the other breast where he can draw milk quickly.
Is One breasts Suddenly Making Less Milk?
Have you noticed that suddenly one of your breasts is producing less milk or no milk at all? This can be due to reasons discussed below and could be a cause for concern.
It could be a sign that you are dealing with clogged ducts or other breast infection that needs medical attention. In case of clogged ducts, your breasts become firm and challenging for your baby to latch properly.
Baby won?t be able to draw milk and empty your breasts when the baby is not draining the breasts, your body will start to think there is less demand and will start making less milk.
But it can get worse. Untreated clogged ducts can lead to breast infections like mastitis. In case of a breast infection, babies might like the taste of the milk (it can be salty) and refuse the breasts.
It could be because your baby is coming down with a sickness. Could be teething, cold, or an ear infection. In such cases, babies tend to favor a position (hence one breast) more.
Example: If your baby has a stuffed nose, he might find it easier to feed on your right breast than your left. Same goes for teething or during ear infection.
How To Fix Uneven Milk Supply?
Some women are happy with what they have and move on breastfeeding only on one side. But most of us would like to fix uneven supply as it can get frustrating at times.
Breastfeeding is a function of supply and demand. If you drain more milk out of your breasts, it makes more milk.
Incredible right? It totally blew my mind when I knew this.
So the best way to increase your milk supply on the slacker boob is to remove more milk from it. Your best bet is to make your baby drain it for you.
You can also pump which we will talk about below, but I recommend, using your baby?s super sucking power to your advantage if you can.
But it?s easier said than done.
Our babies are smarter than we think. They like to do less work but get more milk. So the moment they know that you are putting them on a breast that makes less milk, they will cry and fuss until you give them the other breast. So literally you have to trick them into breastfeeding from your slacker boob.
Tips For Breastfeeding From The Lopsided Breast:
1.Start with the lopsided breast: Your baby is more prone to suck vigorously when they are hungry. So try starting your feed with the lopsided breast. The key is to put them on your breast at the first sign of hunger. Do not wait until they are hangry (hungry +angry). When your baby is overly hungry, they will refuse to feed on a breast that has low milk supply.
2.Feed when your baby is half asleep: Another trick you can try is to feed your baby when they are not fully awake. For me, the best timing was the first feed in the morning. It can be after a nap, or before sleep, try what works for you and your baby.
3.Change positions: Trying different positions can definitely help remove milk from your slacker boobs. One particular position that I recommend to try is getting on all four and feeding. Gravity can make it easier for your baby to draw more milk.
Pump More Milk:
If you are an exclusive pumper, then pumping and removing more milk from the breast can help build milk supply.
Power pumping is excellent in increasing milk supply. With power pumping, you pump both the breasts for 20 minutes, take a break for 10 minutes and pump again for 20 minutes.
But when using power pumping to fix uneven supply, you will have to work only the lopsided breast otherwise you will end up with an oversupply in your other breast. Here is how you do it:
Power Pumping to Fix Uneven Milk Supply:
Step 1: Pump on your slacker breast for 20 minnutes.
Step 2: Rest for 10 minutes
Step 3: Pump again on the same breast for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Repeat after every normal nursing/pumping session.
The key is to do this power pumping session in addition to your normal feeding or pumping schedule.
Example: If you are breastfeeding at 9 am, 12am, 3am, 6pm, 9pm and 12pm. Then your feeding schedule after including the power pumping sessions will look like this :
- 9 am –> regular feeding
- 9:30 am —> power pumping
- 12 am –> regular feeding
- 12:30 am —> power pump
- 3:00 pm —> regular feeding
- 3:30 pm –> power pump
- 6:00 pm –> regular feeding
- 6:30 pm —> power pump
- 9:00 pm —> regular feeding
- 9:30 pm –> power pumping
- 12:00 pm –> regular feeding
You DON”T have to power pump for 30 minutes. If this is exhausting for you, cut down the power pumping session for 15 minutes. Example: pump for 5 minutes, rest for 5 minutes and pump again on the same breast for 5 more minutes and finish.
Other Tips To Increase Milk Supply in the Lopsided Breast:
All of the regular pumping tips to increase milk supply works equally well when working with lopsided breasts.
- Massage Your Breasts: Hands on breast compression can help increase milk flow while nursing as well as pumping. Hold your breasts, and use your thumb to massage your breasts towards the nipple.
- Heat: Warm compress can get your milk flowing. Use heat pads like these one on your lopsided breast before nursing or pumping.
- Don’t Skip a feeding session: Missing nursing or pumping sessions regularly can negatively affect your supply.This can make your lopsided breast make even less milk if it is not stimulated periodically.
- Alternate Breasts: It is common for moms to forget to switch sides ( I am guilty of it). It can particularly cause you trouble if you are not giving your baby the lesser producing breast. If you keep ignoring the lopsided breast, it might eventually dry up, producing no milk.
It is quite common to have lopsided breast where one breast produces less milk than the other. In many cases, this is normal and not to be worried about. But if it bothers you. you can try fixing the uneven milk supply by
- Breastfeeding often by offering the lopsided breast to your baby to stimulate more milk.
- When nursing, try different positions and offer the breast when your baby is hungry.
- Pumping, especially power pumping focusing on the breast that produces less milk can help.
- Try massaging your breasts, heat compress on the slacker boob before nursing or pumping.
- Try not to skip any nursing session and remember to alternate both the breasts.