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Is it normal to have one breast better at producing milk than the other?

(15 Posts)
MrsMar Thu 27-Sep-07 22:01:27

My right breast seems to produce milk fine, when I squeeze it I can even make it shoot out! However whenever I'm feeding ds on it, it seems like he doesn't get a good feed from it. Is this more likely to be a latching on issue or a slower let down issue? I thought that if I could squeeze milk out easily that the let down wouldn't be an issue, but perhaps I'm wrong.

When he's latched on to that breast it feels ok, not painful or anything, so I assumed I was doing ok. I've been holding him rugby ball style because I had a cs, could that cause problems? I'm finding it hard to hold him the more traditional way, it feels unusual.

My ds is only 2 weeks old so I'm still trying to find my feet with bfing so any advice will be gratefully received!

sideways Thu 27-Sep-07 22:03:24

I always had about twice the amount of milk in one breast than in the other.

Not sure if it's common or not though!

Tommy Thu 27-Sep-07 22:09:08

My left one was always more effective with DS1 and 2 - in fact, by the end, I was only feeding them on that side.

At 2 weeks, I'm not sure how it all works - I would suggest that you just keep feeding on both sides and hope that someone more qualified comes along soon smile

SpawnChorus Thu 27-Sep-07 22:09:37

I seem to remember a thread a while ago which indicated that if you were right handed, your left boob produced more milk, and vice versa.

Of course that could have been one of my many bizarre MumsNet-based dreams.

But I can tell you for sure that my right boob produces less milk, and that both of my DCs had a 'preferred' boob (different ones, as it happens).

daisyandbabybootoo Thu 27-Sep-07 22:14:04

No direct expereince, but my let down is faster on the left and I can alwways pump more from that side as well (and DD doesn't latch so well on that side as a result)

I've seen lots of posts on here about one side being preferred to the other and one-sided feeding so it seems pretty common. I don't think the hold should cause you any problems.

There is some good advice at Kellymom.

You sound like you are doing a fine job though and nice and relaxed about it smile

Congratulations on your LO

Olihan Thu 27-Sep-07 22:25:09

I have a much better supply in my left boob, than my right - to the point where it's noticeably bigger than the other shock blush. Ds2 has always preferred my left side so I think that's why the supply is better, his latch was better on that side and I think he was just more comfortable being held that side, therefore fed for longer. He's almost 9mo now and spends 90secs or so on the right then 5 mins on the left, he will never feed solely from the right.

Spawn, there was a thread about that, (not just your overactive imagination grin) the general consensus was that babies seem to prefer the opposite side to the one you wrie with, although there were a few exceptions.

I don't think the rugby ball hold will make any difference, as long as he's attached properly. It's probably just that he prefers the other side, your nipples could be slightly different shapes so it's easier for him to attach to the left, he may be more comfy on the left so pulls off sooner from the right.

I wouldn't worry about ti too much, there is no rule that says you have to single side feed (if you've got the baby whisperer book, rip about the pages on bf, it's appalling advice) so if he settles better having had both sides when he starts on the left then let him have both. At 2 weeks he's still building up your supply so using both breasts frequently will do just that.

Kepp going, you're doing really well!

MrsMar Thu 27-Sep-07 22:48:19

Thanks for the replies everyone, I knew we were pretty wonky in general anyway, I've got one foot larger than the other, but I didn't realise it would extend to milk supply in boobs! I'll keep feeding on both sides as you all say, but I think I'll offer him the better boob after he's finished sucking my poor right boob dry

MrsMar Thu 27-Sep-07 22:48:58

Oh and I am right handed so I guess I can support the theory about milk supply being better on the opposite side to that which you write with!

Jacanne Thu 27-Sep-07 23:00:52

Oooh this works with me too. We used to call my left breast "old faithful" because it used to gush like a geyser while the right side was more sedately "drippy" - and I'm right handed.

Jacanne Thu 27-Sep-07 23:04:14

MrsMar could it be that you actually have a faster letdown on that side and ds can't settle for that reason? I had a very fast letdown, particularly on the left side and could shoot milk out as you describe. DD2 found feeding very difficult until I found some ways of dealing with it.

Jenkeywoo Thu 27-Sep-07 23:09:16

When I was pumping full time I used to get 8 oz from mighty righty and only 2 oz from leftie. DD now points to rightie and says 'i want that one'! I am also left handed so I guess the theory holds up.

MrsMar Fri 28-Sep-07 16:57:46

Lol jacanne at the old faithful!! Isn't it strange how it works out! The wierd thing is that I've just expressed for the first time from my right boob, and it poured out, and that was after ds had been on it for 30 mins. I think he just finds it difficult to get milk out of that boob. Maybe the nipple is a slightly different shape. Or it could be a letdown thing... I'm hoping the expressing will help encourage a better letdown. Poor little ds has lost quite a few oz this week, so we're topping up by cup feeding expressed milk. It'll be interesting to see how much milk I can express out of each boob, and if it increases.

mezzer Fri 28-Sep-07 17:08:57

I'm right-handed and my right boob was always more "productive"

MrsMar, I think you need to keep offering both boobs. Otherwise, you could end up lopsided (I did sometimes if I forgot and did two feeds on the right boob in a row). If one gets smaller than the other, you can offer that one first, two feeds in a row, to help even it out. Kellymom is really helpful. Also, does your hospital have a breastfeeding clinic. They could help you sort out positioning, latch, etc. It's hard to put in writing but a lot easier to show you person-to-person.

MrsMar Fri 28-Sep-07 18:31:17

Hi mezzer, I will keep up with both sides. I don't want to end up wonky! I will investigate a bf clinic, I'm sure it's easier to sort things out face to face with a bf advisor. No one has actually watched me feed yet, I was working on the assumption that as it's not hurting when he feeds, then he must be latched on ok. Having started expressing some milk off, I'm starting to think I just don't have a full flow yet. I'm getting a really pathetic amount out when I express so I think my ds is having to work really hard for his dinner!

Olihan Fri 28-Sep-07 21:09:56

MrsMar, don't forget than expressing is very different to your baby actually feeding and some people don't manage to express anything at all but feed their baby perfectly well. It can take time to get the hang of expressing so don't use it as any kind of indicator of how good your supply is!

If you're not having any pain during feeds, your baby is settling for a while after feeds, is content and is putting on weight then I think there's a good chance you're absolutely fine. If it would put your mind at rest then definitely see a bfc. I ended up seeing 2, one did sort a tiny attachment issue but the other just told me I was doing well which was the confidence boost I needed to stop worrying and start enjoying bf.

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