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Thread: One breast producing very little milk

  1. #1

    Default One breast producing very little milk

    My baby is 10 months now and she is mostly feeding off just the right breast now. I've tried starting her on the left side and occasionally she will get a bit of milk out of it but other times there is barely anything there. How do I know if she's getting enough milk? Do I need to start supplementing with formula?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: One breast producing very little milk

    It's very common for a baby to have a breast preference. Usually production is better on one side, for me it is also the right side. But that doesn't mean that she isn't getting enough. Some mothers only nurse from one side. If you are concerned about being lopsided you can start pumping only on the left side to try and increase production. Always start on that side because the baby has the strongest suck at the beginning of a feeding. But quite honestly, I wouldn't stress over it. As long as baby is happy, producing enough wet diapers and gaining weight, it's just a quirk of breastfeeding. She could conceivable get everything she needs from only one breast.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
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    Default Re: One breast producing very little milk

    Hi mama,

    The main way you know if your breastfed baby is eating enough is 1) does she have 6-8 wet diapers in 24 hours, and 2) is she gaining weight appropriately. If she's doing those, then she's getting enough to eat. Many mamas have fed twins with 2 boobs or one baby with one boob, so that in itself is not a cause for concern. Sometimes people are worried about lopsidedness, which is an aesthetic or comfort concern.

    But some questions for you:
    1) Is she eating any solids? cereal?
    2) What makes you think she doesn't get much milk out of the left? How did you come to be feeding mostly from the right?
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  4. #4

    Default Re: One breast producing very little milk

    She is eating 3 small solid meals a day, she hasn't liked cereal so I do yogurt in the morning followed by some fruits, veggies, grain and a bit of protein for lunch and dinner. She was a healthy weight at her 9 month visit but it was after that the left boob started slowing down so I'm not sure whether now she's gaining enough and her next appt won't be until her 12 month in July. I always start her on the left one and for example, when she ate at 6am this morning she was on there for a couple minutes but then when I feed her again around 10am she sucked and sucked and nothing came so I had to switch her to the right one which she ate on for a few minutes. I tried to pump the left one then and nothing came...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: One breast producing very little milk

    Thanks mama!

    How do you know that she didn't get any milk at her 10 am feed?

    Also, how many times a day do you estimate she nurses?

    Pump output is never a good indication of how much milk your baby is getting.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  6. #6

    Default Re: One breast producing very little milk

    It's possible she got a bit I suppose but I didn't feel the normal let down and she was sucking really fast like she was trying to get something out unlike the slow, long suck she does on the right side. She nurses 4-5 times a day.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: One breast producing very little milk

    Hm. well, if you do want to increase production in your left side, then putting her on first and pumping is the right thing to do. But like PP said, unless you have a specific symptom-related concern, then don't stress out about it!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  8. #8

    Default Re: One breast producing very little milk

    Thank you so much for the advice! I will keep feeding her on that side first and trying to pump and hopefully that works. I've heard fenugrek and a little beer can help too so I might try that. It's just so hard not to worry! Even though I know stressing out just makes it worse

  9. #9
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    Default Re: One breast producing very little milk

    The only thing with trying herbs is that it will increase overall production and I am not sensing you have a supply problem. Only a preference. Be careful not to upset the balance you already have.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  10. #10
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    Default Re: One breast producing very little milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kst.7399 View Post
    It's very common for a baby to have a breast preference. Usually production is better on one side, for me it is also the right side. But that doesn't mean that she isn't getting enough. Some mothers only nurse from one side. If you are concerned about being lopsided you can start pumping only on the left side to try and increase production. Always start on that side because the baby has the strongest suck at the beginning of a feeding. But quite honestly, I wouldn't stress over it. As long as baby is happy, producing enough wet diapers and gaining weight, it's just a quirk of breastfeeding. She could conceivable get everything she needs from only one breast.
    Absolutely true. Mine preferred the left and didn't nurse as well on the right, which of course in turn did not produce nearly as much. I started on the right for a good long time and that eventually boosted production in that breast (although there's still a difference, it's not as significant as it was). It took awhile to even out though, so be patient and keep at it. You can offer that breast periodically even if your baby isn't asking to nurse for additional stimulation if you think she'll have it.

    If your baby is alert and gaining weight well, then I would stay away from herbs. You don't want an oversupply in the other breast! A nice stout, however, might be in order once baby is asleep.

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