Ask Judy: Should Breastmilk Production Be Equal?

Dear Judy, Is it possible for one breast to product more more milk than the other?

Not only is it possible, it’s very common! Many women experience a difference in the amount of milk produced from one breast vs the other. Let me tell you a few stories to illustrate the possibilities.

My sister had three children. With all three of them, her breastmilk production in one breast was much greater than the production in her other breast. Where her children were infants, they preferred the “slow” side as the other side had a much stronger let down and would cause them to “gag.” As they got older, they started to prefer the “fast” side as they wanted to drink more and more quickly – so they didn’t have the patience to wait for the “slow” side and preferred the “fast” side.

My cousin had two children. With both of her children, one breast hardly produced any milk (just dribbles) and the other was a great producer. Both of her children preferred the side that was the great producer and although she tried to nurse from both sides, she ended up exclusively feeding from only one side and letting the other side dry up.

I also have friends who would pump and get 3-4 ounces from one side and only a 1/2-1 oz from the other. It is normal and it happens quite frequently!

If you want to try to even out your production, you can do so by always starting your nursing sessions on the side that is the lower producer. Your baby drinks with the most “effort” when he/she first begins to nurse, so always starting on the lower producing side, will stimulate that side to make more milk. You can also try pumping that side while nursing from the other to give it added stimulation. These tricks may work for some moms and they may not. Everyone’s body is different. Find a happy medium that works for you and your babies. And don’t worry – you are completely normal!!

Did you have varying production with your milk supply? Do you have a story to share? Please leave a comment sharing your experiences!!

5 comments to Ask Judy: Should Breastmilk Production Be Equal?

  • Thanks for this post. My son prefers the right side. I don’t know if it’s because i’m right handed, so it always felt more comfortable when he was on that side. Now my right breast is bigger than my left, and it actually feels firmer. I still nurst him on the left, but it doesn’t make that much of a difference. Still, I produce enough milk with both breasts to satisfy him, and thankfully I’m not lopsided enough that it’s noticeable, at least not with clothes on!
    .-= Lynette´s last blog .. =-.

  • It seems we are are in synch! My last blog post was all about my experience with this. Prompted by the fact that sister seems to be struggling to get baby on the left breast. It seems to be such a common issue.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Adventures in feeding from one breast =-.

  • Thanks for posting about this!

    I’m not able to pump, so I’ve never gotten a concrete measure, but my breasts are certainly different, if you ask my babies!

    Both my sons strongly preferred the right side throughout our nursing relationship. Oddly, my daughter didn’t seem to care!
    .-= Tiffany (As For My House)´s last blog ..Thank God for This Hotel Room =-.

  • Both of my sons have preferred the right side and it has always been a better producer than the left. I always attributed it to the fact that I had breast surgery (had a fast-growing suspicious lump, and they removed it when i was 6 months pregnant with my first son. whew! benign fibroadenoma!) on the left side just a couple months before my first son was born and I figured the scarring maybe blocked a couple of the milk ducts on that side. maybe it’s just how I’m “built,” who knows!
    .-= Krystal´s last blog ..Sugar fix: Day One food recap =-.

  • […] writing about breast milk production yesterday and the differences in production that some women experience, I realized that there is a […]

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