The Parents Network >
Advice about Breastfeeding >
Throughout my entire nursing experience one breast has always
produced twice as much as the other. I am now weaning my 7
month old son and the breast that does not produce as much has
completely shut down. The other is quite large compared to
this, and it makes for a very uncomfortable situation. Has
anyone ever had this problem? Will they eventually go back to
the same size, and how long will that take? I am now expressing
to relieve, not to empty. Lastly, I have noticed that the one
that has shut down is now smaller than before I was preganant.
Is that normal too? Thanks.
I had the same problem. Once I started solid foods I noticed a
huge difference in breast size (left much larger than right) and
production. It kept up until weaning at about 13 months. Then,
both breasts got small again (only slightly larger than before
pregnancy) and a bit droopier, unfortunately. But, they now
(about 2 months later) seem to be exactly the same size. I've
heard and read that this happens a lot.
I can only answer the last part of the post -- yes, it's normal
for some women to have smaller breasts after weaning, and as far
as my experience goes, it is a permanent change. My doctor said
that my body figured out how much breast tissue I need to
support a nursing baby (not much, evidently, despite the fact
that both my kids were extra big), and that's what I am left
with. Took me a while to accept the grim truth that I have the
same cup size now I had in 8th grade, but oh well. You probably
won't stay lopsided, but I didn't have that particular
experience. Don't fret; it'll be okay
I had the same problem as you. DONT worry your breasts
will go back to their normal size once you have weaned
Most of you are laughing right now, but I DO have a serious
question if you'll read on...
My right breast has always been a bit larger than my left,
though the difference, I think, is visible only to my husband
and myself. While I was breastfeeding my first child, however,
the problem steadily worsened. After about six months I also
noticed a difference in the milk supply. In a typical pumping
session (which I did fewer than ten times per week) I would
easily get 4+ ounces from the right side and only 2 from the
Around this time, I first introduced solid foods to the baby's
diet, and though I continued nursing for nearly another year, I
often worried that he was not getting enough of his calories
from breast milk between 6 and 12 months -- he loved to eat, and
showed less and less interest in nursing.
Now, with a newborn, I'm noticing the size difference again.
I've only pumped a few times, just to get the baby accustomed to
occasional bottles for my future convenience, and sometimes I
get equal amounts. But sometimes, as before, the left side
yields only half as much milk. I've also noticed that my baby
sucks less vigorously on that side during afternoon feedings
(nights and mornings seem fine).
Obviously, I'm bothered by the cosmetic issue here, but I'm also
concerned that the problem led my first child to wean himself to
solid foods too rapdily. Milk production is supposed to be a
supply-demand process, I know, but I can't help worrying that my
body was getting it wrong! Am I way off-base? This time around
I've been starting every feeding on the left (low-producing)
side in hopes that my very hungry baby will stimulate better
production, but so far I see no improvement. Should I stick
with this experiment, or might it cause other problems? It may
also be relevant that I took Micronor while breastfeeding the
first time. And what about the fact that I'm right-handed? I'm
open to all theories and advice!
Still hoping the problem's not obvious...
I have exactly the same bust as you. The difference has become
more pronounced after breastfeeding my 2 children. My right
breast fills my bra, while my left one leaves the material a
little baggy. My right breast has much more breast tissue, and
more lactating ducts, than my left. It fills up more that the
left one, and always has more fore milk. The left one has more
hind milk and sometimes my 22-month old seems to really enjoy
the richer milk from it. Other times she seems to want the
higher volume from the right. I also could pump twice the amount
from the right than I could the left. Lot's of women have
lopsided breasts. The only draw back for me is that I have never
been a big milk-producer. I breastfed more frequently in order
to keep my babies full when they were little. I gave up pumping
earlier because I could not fill the bottles, but fortunately my
supply kept up so that I could continue part-time nursing for
quite awhile into their toddler years. I think you are doing
fine as long as the babies are gaining weight. Don't worry about
how much the babies are getting and just enjoy the nursing
relationship for as long as you and your family wish to continue
I too have a lopsided bustline accentuated by breastfeeding. And
have twice the output of mm on the left side. I tried to
increase my output on the right by nursing him more often on the
right, similar to what you are doing, but to no avail. I pretty
much gave up on that. I don't know about weaning since my son is
13 1/2 months has no indication that he wants to wean. It may
just be what your first child was ready for, the second may be
entirely different. Happy Nursing and Pumping.
with both of my kids (now 4 and 2), i had much more milk
production from my right breast. this was noticeable only when
i pumped. sometimes i would have twice the amount on the right
side. however, when the baby was nursing, s/he didn't seem to
have a preference for either side. both babies were healthy
eaters and gained a respectable amount of weight. both kids were
(practically) self-weaned ay 8-9 months which fit in fine with
cosmetically, i think i am even. i am right-handed and
therefore i carry the children on my left side (thus squishing
my left breast) and maybe that inhibited milk production. i
finally just chalked it up to being right-breast dominant.
right breasted mama
I know that by the time you read this, it will have been a while
since your original posting, but I just thought I'd throw my 2
cents in. Like you, I have a lopsided bustline. My right breast
is larger and produces way more milk than my left. I never
noticed a size difference until I started nursing. My son is now
almost 11 months old and is still nursing frequently.
I first noticed the difference pretty early on, and I checked
with a lactation consultant to find out if it was normal. She
reassured me that it was perfectly normal for one side to be
bigger than the other. She said it would be more unusual for
them to be perfectly even! So I hope that sets your mind at ease
on that point.
As far as milk supply goes, I have kind of given up trying to
get my left side to produce as much as my right. I make it a
point to nurse on my left side as much as possible, so that I
don't get completely noticibly uneven (particularly if I suspect
that he's not super hungry, but just wants to suck.)
Unfortunately, my son does not seem to fill up on that side the
way he does on the right, so I end up nursing on the right more
than I might like to. One thing that helps a little is to pump
on the left but not the right. This increases the demand for the
left side and stimulates the milk production. It doesn't
completely solve the problem, but it helps.
I have no idea what will happen once I start to wean. Good luck
and don't worry.
Based on my experience, I don't think you need to worry about
any of those issues! My breasts differ in that the nipple on
one side is completely flat. The other is normal. We struggled
to get my son to learn to use both for the first few months
after he was born, but the normal nipple was SO much easier for
him, and he was so hungry, that that side was regularly
producing about 5 ounces of milk per feeding, and the neglected
side about 1 ounce, or less. After three months, I began asking
around, and discovered something no-one had ever thought to tell
me -- it's perfectly ok to just nurse on one side! The baby
gets plenty of food. (Think of it this way: a mother of twins
produces enough milk to nurse two....)So I quit trying on the
difficult side. After a week or so of some discomfort, that
side stopped producing, and life was great, if quite a bit
lopsided. We nursed off the one breast until my son was weaned,
tapering off after 12 months to completely weaned by 15 months.
Trust me - it's adequate nutrition -- he's in the 90th
percentile for height and growing like a weed. If your child
weaned earlier, it was just a choice, I think.
Now, approching 20 months, both my breasts are approximately the
same size again.
good luck !
Alyson in Oakland
this page was last updated: Aug 10, 2003
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network