Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Uneven Breasts! One breast is significantly larger

  1. #1

    Default Uneven Breasts! One breast is significantly larger

    Hello

    I am a first time mom and only breast feeding my son of 6 weeks. I am really concerned that one breast is significantly larger than teh other. I pump and try to get my son to nurse from the smaller one but it still doesn't produce as much milk as the larger. And even the milk it produces is mostly the let down.

    I literally feel like Quasimoto.

    I am concerned not just for the sake of vanity and feeling self conscious, but also the fact that the larger breast gets full so quickly and aches t the point I either have to continuously nurse or pump. It's definitely the "work-horse" of the two and right now it feels overworked. Has anyone ever experienced this? If so, I could really use some advice, particularly how I can get the smaller one to produce more milk in the smaller.

    Thank You.

    -Kristin (Quincy's Mom)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,653

    Default Re: Uneven Breasts! One breast is significantly larger

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it through the first 6 weeks!

    It is normal to have differing production levels between breasts. If it's not causing lopsidedness, it's not a problem. But if it is, you can fix it by increasing stimulation and milk removal for the underachieving breast and decreasing stimulation and milk removal from the overachiever. You can begin all or most feedings on the small side, and if you want you can pump that side in addition to nursing. Simultaneously, you want to end all feedings on the large side and avoid pumping or expressing from the large side unless the fullness is absolutely unbearable. If it is, you can express just enough milk to restore comfort. That will allow your supply to decrease, albeit a little slower than if you just put up with the fullness.

    May I ask why you're pumping at this point? Are you returning to the workplace soon?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Uneven Breasts! One breast is significantly larger

    Thanks for the feedback. I figured that is what I needed to do. I don't know how they got this way as I thought I was alternating enough but apparently not. I even had my placenta encapsulated which I heard helped with milk production among other things.

    The reason We started pumping right away is so my husband and I can alternate late night feedings and other activities. This way at least one of us can get a full night's rest every other night instead of us both being too tired to function every night. And Quincy is fine with either bottle or breast as long as he is getting fed and it is from me. He is a voracious eater and pretty big for his age. He has gained weight rapidly and is in the 98th percentile for growth (already wearing 3-6 month clothes and 1 size diapers). Our pediatrician is quite pleased.;-)

    Is there anything else that helps with milk-supply?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Uneven Breasts! One breast is significantly larger

    Speaking froma lot of experience and as an EPing mom, I would say stop pumping. You are making the unevenness worse with pumping. If you nurse it, it is more likely to even out. But it's also normal to produce way more on one side. I pump about four times more from my left than the right. I had no idea the volum was so different until I had to EP.

    If you cosleep and night nurse, nobody is tired I was not tired until I had to start pumping and using bottles.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Uneven Breasts! One breast is significantly larger

    If I am reading you right, there is no issue with overall milk supply as your baby is thriving entirely off your milk. In that case, milk supply is more than fine. The issue is with feeling lopsided, one side is a significantly higher volume producer than the other, do I have that right?

    I would suggest, if you really must pump, to consider pumping ONLY on the smaller breast. Many moms find that pumping and bottle feeding when not necessary (when a baby is capable of getting enough milk at the breast & there are no separations) can cause issues both with supply and baby becoming reluctant to nurse, sometimes even way down the line. So I would suggest being aware of that. But if you do pump, it probably makes sense to pump only on the smaller breast as that would at the very least not cause MORE lopsidedness. At the same time, letting the other breast get full will allow milk production to slow down a bit on that side. Yes at the same time you want to try to avoid true engorgement.

    In your case, the most immediate concern may be that your baby may begin to refuse the smaller breast and cause even worse lopsidedness during the time that you are nursing. So you may want to do all you can to gently encourage baby to nurse at that breast, perhaps using ideas that are helpful when there is general breast refusal. It is possible that this would also help to ‘even things up” as much as possible. This article contains lots of ideas: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    Cosmetic concerns: I looked the issue of extreme lopsidedness up for a mom recently who, due to baby refusing to nurse on one side, was nursing her 7 month old entirely on one side and had been for some months, and thus was quite lopsided. Her concern was primarily the cosmetic issue, basically she was concerned she would continue to be lopsided after baby weaned. I found this information in the lactation text Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple (Mohrbacher 2010) "A worry some mothers have about one-sided nursing is whether their breasts will ever be the same size again, as the used breast may become noticeably larger than the other. If so, assure the mother that after weaning her breasts should be about the same size as before she become pregnant. If they were the same size then, she can expect this again after breastfeeding ends."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Uneven Breasts! One breast is significantly larger

    I have tried pumping from the smaller breast only just to get 1 oz. But today I have started nursing Quin on the smaller breast for which he is fine, just not for long period of time. It's obvious he gets more from the larger one. And the issue, aside from cosmetic, has been the increased engorgement of the larger breast.

    As far as pumping, it works for me and my family at this time. No issues with bonding, weight gain, or anything else. Plus, he gets to bond with daddy at night time. I have talked it over with OBGYN and pediatrician who both say it's fine as long as the baby is fine with it. He's a big boy so he will definitely eat. .;-)

    I will definitely look at that link. .

    thank you all again for your suggestions.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Uneven Breasts! One breast is significantly larger

    I have tried pumping from the smaller breast only just to get 1 oz.
    I know it sounds strange but that's actually a normal amount to get from a single pumping session, from BOTH breasts. Yes, some moms pump more, some moms pump MUCH more. These moms likely have oversupply, and oversupply can cause breastfeeding issues.

    I hesitate to draw hard conclusions from pump output, but this pump output suggests that, MAYBE, your high producing side is an overproducer, and your less productive side is more normal as far as milk production goes. This would also explain the engorgement on the high producing side, which generally would not happen, especially at this age, if baby is nursing with appropriate frequency- unless a mom has oversupply.

    Extra stimulation and milk extraction from pumping is a proven technique for increasing low milk supply, and thus will likely lead to oversupply if a mom has normal production, and possibly to serious oversupply issues if a mom is prone to some overproduction. So it is a possibility that pumping on the high producing side is exacerbating the lopsided breasts issue.

    I was not saying to not to pump in order to give bottles, if that is what works best for you & your family. But unfortunately many breastfeeding moms are under the impression it is always necessary or beneficial to pump and give bottles, when that is simply not so, especially for a baby who is obviously doing so well and a mom who obviously makes plenty of milk. We have lots of lurkers on these boards, and since the evidence suggests extra pumping and unnecessary bottles frequently can cause breastfeeding issues, I do like to point that out, just as I would at a LLL meeting. But obviously, this is an individual parenting choice, and you are the expert on your baby.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Uneven Breasts! One breast is significantly larger

    [oversupply.

    Extra stimulation and milk extraction from pumping is a proven technique for increasing low milk supply, and thus will likely lead to oversupply if a mom has normal production, and possibly to serious oversupply issues if a mom is prone to some overproduction. So it is a possibility that pumping on the high producing side is exacerbating the lopsided breasts issue.

    I will definitely try to nurse and pump to stimulate the low producing side more but 1 oz isn't enough for this little guy. He has a real fit when he is hungry. He doesn't get a bottle every day just every other day, well middle of the night. I mostly nurse him and we cosleep on my nights. funny thing is that sometimes I get emotional on the nighs I don't have him. But I work for myself and I have early mornings when I need to be functional. So it is partly due to work that we have this schedule.

    thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Uneven Breasts! One breast is significantly larger

    Most moms need to pump more than once to replace one feeding.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •