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Thread: Increasing milk on just one side

  1. #1

    Default Increasing milk on just one side

    My son is now 4 months old and I am back to work. I have noticed when I pump that one breast only gets between 1-2 ounces at a time, while the other one gets 4-5 ounces. I would like to try to increase the milk supply on only the one side because daycare is asking for more milk. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Increasing milk on just one side

    That is a phenomenal pumping output!

    Can I ask a few questions? How long are you away from baby? How often are you pumping? How many bottles do you leave each day and how many ounces are in each bottle?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Increasing milk on just one side

    Hi Mama! Welcome to the forum! I *think* it's pretty normal to have one side produce more than the other, at least the moms I know and myself have a similar thing going on! Do you double pump? You could try leaving the pump running on your lower side for a few extra minutes - supply and demand right? If you are demanding more milk from that side, I would expect that it would slowly make more. Worth a try anyways!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Increasing milk on just one side

    I think asymmetry is normal, as PPS said (Mine have uneven outputs too.) If you're not already, you can try hand compressions during pumping, as well as manual expression after pumping (and then you can even pump again). They really work! There are some sticky notes at the top of the "Increasing Your Milk" forum, and one of them has a link to the Stanford educational video that demonstrates compressions & hand expression.

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    Default Re: Increasing milk on just one side

    It is absolutely normal to have a difference in milk production and there are things you can do to at least try to correct it (whether you will be able to is another story), but if you're pumping 5-7 ounces per session and you're pumping regularly throughout the day (ie once for every time baby is fed) and your day care is still asking for more milk I think there is a very good chance your baby is getting over fed.

    The general rule is to leave 1-1.5 ounces per hour you are away from your baby. Care providers who are used to feeding formula fed babies often make the mistake of overfeeding breastfed babies because you have to increase the amount of formula you feed as baby grows. That is not the case with breastmilk. The most a breastfed baby should be taking at one time is 4 ounces and that stays consistent throughout the first year (maybe occasionally 5 ounces for an older baby if there is a growth spurt). Many moms find that decreasing the amount of milk in the bottle (to 2-3 ounces per bottle with a couple of 1-2 ounce bottles for topping off) and talking with care providers about techniques and tricks for bottle feeding a breastfed baby (here's a great fact sheet about that) really help. That is where I'd start rather than trying to pump more.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6

    Default Re: Increasing milk on just one side

    I drop him off around 7:45 AM and get him around 5 PM. I pump around 10 and 2 for 20 minutes each time. He takes 3 5oz bottles at daycare.

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    Default Re: Increasing milk on just one side

    I would suggest you start with having them feed your baby smaller bottles more frequently. I really think that would help your situation a great deal. Is there any way you can fit in another pumping session? Maybe on your lunch break? It would not only get you more milk, it would keep your supply where it needs to be. I think if you continue to pump only twice a day, in the long run your supply probably will decrease to the point where you are not pumping enough.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Increasing milk on just one side

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*krisjmu View Post
    I drop him off around 7:45 AM and get him around 5 PM. I pump around 10 and 2 for 20 minutes each time. He takes 3 5oz bottles at daycare.
    If he is taking 3 bottles then you really need to be pumping 3x per day. I don't think you can expect to pump 3 bottles in 2 pumping sessions on a long term basis. If you are still having trouble keeping up then I find pumping after my baby has gone to bed (in front of the TV with a nice warm drink and a snack!) is a good way to get another couple of ounces.

    Also, 5 oz bottles are big. I would ask your daycare providers to start with 3 oz bottles and offer another oz if baby still seems hungry. If they think it wont be enough, tell them they can even do another oz after that if baby really still seems hungry (but it is not likely to happen!). Remember you are the mom and it is up to you how he is fed. I found it helpful to print off the page on feeding amounts from kellymom (http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/) and give it to my daughters daycare teachers. I just approached them like I had been doing research trying to understand how much milk she needed so I would know how much to provide and here is some really interesting info I found.

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