One Breast Seems to Be Producing Less Milk than Before

Updated on October 17, 2008
H.B. asks from Happy Valley, OR
13 answers

I have been nursing my baby for 4 months now and have not had a single problem. Recently my left breast has seem to "shrink" and produce a lot less milk than before. Not only does it look goofy, I am concerned that I am "drying up" early. Though, my right breast still produces a very good amount. What can I do to correct this problem?

For example, yesterday, my husband had my baby for a little outing and when I pumped, I got 6 ounces out of righty, but 1 out of lefty! Ugh! Help!

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So What Happened?

I tried starting every feeding on my left breast. It took about a week, but then it totally helped. Thanks for all your advice. Also, getting enough water makes a HUGE difference. That is where I have been slacking. :o)

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B.S.

answers from Springfield on

My left always produced more than my right even when I pumped extra to get the supply up. It's normal although it's seems strange. Don't worry... but pumping the weak side more, did help a bit.

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D.T.

answers from Seattle on

Hi,

I had the same issue with one side producing more than the other. I would always start with the less productive side and then switch to the side that was producing more. It worked fine. As my daughter got older (I nursed her until she was 29 months) I would just nurse from the one side that produced more and that worked out just fine too.

D.

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R.C.

answers from Seattle on

i agree with the last response... the lacation nurse told me to pump for 5-10 minutes after nursing to help stimulate milk production. it help me. i know its a little bit of a pain but stick with it and it will get better . after a little while you won't have to do it anymore. good luck!!

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K.O.

answers from Portland on

Nurse more on that side (the less productive one). :) It's all about supply and demand.

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K.M.

answers from Seattle on

I was told early on by a nurse that it's pretty normal to produce more milk from one side than the other. Don't worry. Just keep switching sides. Your baby will be getting enough. I have two kids and always had more success pumping one breast than the other and one would always get more engorged than the other.

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K.B.

answers from Seattle on

Hi H.

Sounds like you are feeding/pumping mostly out of your right breast!! It happened to me, my sister and my best friend. We are all right handed and so naturally it felt much more comfortable to feed from our right breast, having the baby lie on our right arm(hopefully I am making sense). Anyway, what you should do is start feeding from your left and just keep pupmping from your left and hopefully it will catch up w/ milk production!! Good luck =)

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A.M.

answers from Portland on

Hi H.,
You've already gotten great advice, but here's one more tidbit - babies generally prefer one side to the other. This is normal. I've even heard of extreme cases where a baby would ONLY nurse from one side - she got enough from one side (remember, many moms nurse twins) and mom was very lopsided. But no long-term negative effects.

LLLI.org (La Leche League) and Kellymom.com are great breastfeeding resources.

Keep up the great work!
A.

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J.F.

answers from Portland on

All good suggestions here. A couple more things to consider:

1. Take a fenugreek (herbal) supplement (check with a lactation specialist on how much to take or just follow the directions on the bottle).

2. Try not to skip feedings, even if you're pumping. Pumping doesn't stimulate the breast as well as the suckling of your baby.

3. Continue nursing at night.

I echo the mom that recommended LLLI.org and kellymom.com.

Blessings,
J.

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H.S.

answers from Portland on

My breast are a little different than each other, but as long as you keep nursing on both sides you will not dry up.
If you want you can nurse more on that side and after a few days it should adjust. But my dd has a preference to which side and usually nurses more on that side.

But the longer you nurse, most people feel less full, but that doesn't mean there is less milk. Also, the baby can get a lot more milk than a pump so that doesn't mean there's less either.
I felt like my body regulated my milk more after 3-4 months and at 6 months I stopped leaking all the time. But I am still nursing 2.5 years later, it's like a faucet as long as the baby nurses milk will come.

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M.D.

answers from Seattle on

It's normal to produce more milk out of one breast than the other but if it bothers you as others have said you can try to nurse more often on that side or more equally which will stimulate more milk production.

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B.S.

answers from Springfield on

My left always produced more than my right even when I pumped extra to get the supply up. It's normal although it's seems strange. Don't worry... but pumping the weak side more, did help a bit.

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A.S.

answers from Eugene on

In addition to the great suggestions already given, you might try pumping for five minutes on the less productive side after your babe is done nursing.

I had minimal supply on both sides and found that this helped boost my production.

Good luck!

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M.L.

answers from Seattle on

Try feeding on the left side first at all feedings for one day. That should help up your output. Also remember that now is about when your body is getting used to how much your baby is eating and is making what your baby needs rather than making too much or too little. You may also notice another change around 6 months.

M.B.

answers from Seattle on

H.,

Offer the left breast first every time that you nurse. That should stimulate it to produce more milk. You could also ask your doctor or a lactation nurse for more ideas.

Good luck,
M.