One Breast Producing Less Milk Suddenly – Unknown Facts!
There are no two human beings that are alike – nor are breasts! Breastfeeding is the primary role of a mother to her child. However, breastfeeding comes with its complications. One of such complications is one of the breasts being fuller and has more forceful let down as compared to the other.
Breasts follow the “demand and supply” rule! So, if you are feeding more on one breast than the other, the one that your child feeds on more will produce more milk than the other. This is very normal and it happens to normally function breasts. When your body discovers that your one side’s milk requirement is greater than the other, more milk will be produced on that side to meet the demand.
This common problem of one breast producing less milk than the other can be caused by a number of different reasons. Some of the common causes of the decline in milk production on one breast include:
1. Baby feeding on one side
If your baby prefers one breast to the other, the one that your baby feeds on more often will have more milk. If while you are breastfeeding you continually breastfeed on one side, the other side will suffer. This is due to the fact that milk production is triggered by your baby’s suckling action.
2. Let-down variation
Let-down is the force at which milk comes out of the breast. If the let-down in one of your breasts is lower as compared to the other, your child will prefer the one will greater let-down. On the other side also, if the let-down is too forceful, your child might find it hard to swallow hence he will prefer the other less forceful breast.
3. Injury or surgery
If you underwent a biopsy recently or was injured, it can affect the milk production. Also, if you had an injury earlier in life on one of your breasts, it can affect the production of milk.
4. Breastfeeding on one side
Sometimes as a mother, you might breastfeed your child on one side more often than the other. As a result, as the baby breastfeeds on one side more often, the milk production on one side will be less than the other.
5. Anatomical differences
Breasts are never the same, they have anatomical differences. The milk-making tissues in each breast are different. Also, there are different milk ducts in each breast. All these factors will make a difference in the amount of milk produced per breast.
What to do!
While some of the factors that lead to a difference in milk production cannot be reversed, but there is something you can do.
The following tips can help you overcome the problem of one-sided milk production:
1. Work with your child
If your child prefers to breastfeed on one side, try to encourage him to feed on the other breast as often as possible. You can try a different nursing position that will make your child comfortable to breastfeed on the other breast. Also, you can trick your child to nurse on the other less preferred breast for instance when he is drowsy and still wants to suckle.
2. Start on the lower side
At the beginning of the suckling process, the baby usually sucks with more force. Begin with the breast with less milk so as to encourage milk production on that breast.
There are two instances you can try to pump the breast with less milk. Allow your child to feed for a few minutes and then pump. The supply of milk is determined by the demand for it. As the demand will increase, there are possibilities of milk increasing on that breast. You can also pump after breastfeeding to encourage the supply of milk.
You can massage the breast that produces less milk. Start from the base of the breast towards the nipple. The massage can help to stimulate the production of milk.
5. Favor it
Ensure that you breastfeed your baby more often on the less producing breast. Nursing more often is essential to increasing the production of milk. The higher the demand for milk, the higher the production will be. However, be careful not to neglect the one producing more milk because it can easily lead to mastitis.
Does Breast Size Affect Breastfeeding?
The simple straight answer to this question is NO! When it comes to breastfeeding, the size of the breast does not matter. The size of the breast is determined by the amount of fatty tissues a breast contains. But this has nothing to do with the production of milk.
Nursing a baby is controlled by hormones. The hormones stimulate the mammary glands to produce milk. Once the milk is produced, it is pushed into the milk ducts that are concentrated under the nipple and areola. When the baby sucks, the milk flows through the ducts into his mouth.
As the process of milk production starts, the size of the breast will start to increase naturally to contain the milk. The amount of milk that a woman produces is determined by the need of the baby. The more the baby needs, by suckling more often, the more the milk will be produced by the breasts.
However, due to some medical condition such as insufficient glandular tissue (IGT), the size of the breast will not be fuller to contain more milk. Women with this condition, have low milk production but it can be treated medically. Low milk production can also be associated with smoking, use of birth control pills and previous breast injury or surgery.
When Will my Breasts Go Back Normal After Pregnancy?
The breasts do not have muscles. They are rather attached to the chest muscle with ligaments. This is why the breasts can move any direction and they are soft. During pregnancy, the breasts will become larger in preparation for the breastfeeding process.
As you start breastfeeding, the breasts will become fuller and even heavier. This is due to milk flowing into the milk ducts and increased blood supply. As the breasts become bigger and heavier, the ligaments that attach them to the chest muscles will become loose.
As the ligaments become loose, the breasts will start to sag. Whether you breastfeed or not, as long as you had a baby, this change is likely to take place.
However, there are other factors that are likely to make your breasts sag and they include:
- Age Body mass index (BMI)
- The number of pregnancies you have had
- A big pre-pregnancy breast size
After the breastfeeding process, as your body goes back to its pre-pregnancy weight and shape, the breasts are likely to go back to its original size as well. However, your breasts will not resume its pre-pregnancy shape immediately after stopping to breastfeed. But after six or more months after stopping to breastfeed, the fatty tissues will start to fill the milk-producing tissues. This will make your breasts a bit fuller and firmer than during the breastfeeding process.
- Top 10 best piano for kids
- Best Baby Bottles: Glass Vs. Plastic
- 9 Must avoid activities that cause miscarriage
- Best Forehead thermometers in India
- Top 4 Mosquito killer in India
Breast Dimpling After Pregnancy
Breastfeeding is a process that starts when you are pregnant and continues until you wean your baby. In that process, you will experience metabolic, hormonal, mental and structural changes. However, the more you breastfeed, the more your body will adjust to the changes.
After your pregnancy, you are likely to start feeling some solid lumps in your breast. This is very normal and you should not panic. As milk in your breast dries up, more especially if you stopped breastfeeding abruptly instead of weaning your child slowly over a certain period of time. The drying milk in your breasts is likely to form lumps. But you do not have to panic because the lumps will go away on its own with time. If the lumps take time and you feel concerned, you can go see a doctor for advice and confirmation.
Will Breastfeeding Affect How My Breasts Look?
One short answer is YES! During the final trimester of your pregnancy, your breasts will become bigger and heavier than before and the areola will darken. All these changes are in preparation for your baby’s breastfeeding.
If one of your breasts becomes bigger than the other, it is because one of your breasts is producing more milk than the other. You might have to look for a bigger bra to help support the weight and carry them comfortably.
After breastfeeding, there are high chances that your breasts will look different. This is a natural process. Also, even if you will not breastfeed, your breasts will not remain the same after delivery. But you do not have to be ashamed of the changes, these are beautiful memories that you brought a life into this world. Carry your mementoes with pride for as long as you have breath.
How to Boost Milk Production From Both Breasts
Producing more milk from one breast can affect the shape of your breasts. You need to balance the production of milk from both sides to keep the balance. The following tips will help you boost milk production from both breasts:
1. Nurse Often
As often as your baby wants to feed, let him breastfeed. As mentioned earlier, milk production works on demand and supply rule. Do not delay or postpone the feeding time. Stop whatever you are doing and breastfeed when it is time to breastfeed.
By allowing your baby to nurse often, it will help to empty the breast and create room for more milk production. It is recommended that you breastfeed your baby every two hours during the day and after 3 hours during the night.
2. Avoid formulas and Solid food
If your bundle of joy is below 6 months, do not introduce any solid food. Exclusively breastfeed your baby. Giving your baby any solid food or formulas will make your baby full and he will not breastfeed properly. Avoid giving him even water because breast milk contains enough water for your baby’s needs.
3. Nurse on Both Breasts
When you are breastfeeding your baby, make sure that you start with the breast that is producing less milk. When the baby begins to suckle, he sucks with a lot of force. This will help to stimulate the production of milk in that breast. Also, during the breastfeeding process, ensure that you change your baby sides 2 to 3 times before he finishes suckling. Breastfeeding on both breasts will ensure that it stimulates both breasts to produce milk properly to meet your baby’s needs.
To empty the breast completely, you can pump in between the feeding process. Allow your child to suckle for a few minutes and then pump. Let him continue breastfeeding afterwards.
Emptying the breasts will help stimulate the production of more milk. You can store the milk you expressed in a safe and clean container and give it to the child later. If you store the milk in the freezer, it can stay for a long time without going bad and it will be good for your baby to use.
5. Ensure Proper Latching
For proper feeding, the baby should latch to the breast correctly. When the baby is not properly latched, he will not be able to suckle rightly and this is likely to affect stimulation for milk production. If you are not able to latch your baby correctly, consult a lactation or doctor for help.
6. Drink enough water
For optimal milk production, it is crucial for you to drink enough water. The largest percentage of breast milk is water. Also, ensure that you get enough rest because stress can also affect the production of milk.
If you still find it difficult to produce sufficient milk after drinking enough water, then consider using a booster for milk production. Some of the natural herbs that help stimulate milk production include fenugreek, alfalfa, garlic, blessed thistle, barley and fennel.
7. Avoid Bottle Feeding and Nipple Shield
Nipple shield, pacifiers and bottle feeding are among the leading causes of confusion to baby latching. The way a child sucks the bottle is not the same way that he will latch to the nipple of your breast. When the baby does not latch properly, it will affect suckling and thereby stimulation for milk production. Therefore, as much as possible avoid using pacifiers, nipple shield and bottling feeding. Let your baby breastfeed normally to help stimulate your breast to produce more milk.
One constant question about one breast producing less milk is: will my baby get enough milk? Well, as long you will breastfeed your baby as frequently as you can, he will get enough milk to meet his needs. When one breast is producing less milk, the other breast will produce more to cover for the other. Therefore, your child is likely to get enough milk.
According to reports, there are mothers who have nursed their children exclusively on one breast and their babies have grown normally. There are other factors that can contribute to a mother breastfeeding on one breast. It can be due to infection or injury.
Every mother has a story about her breastfeeding experience. You do not have to be worried if one of your breasts does not produce enough milk. Use what you have and your baby will get all the nutrients he needs to grow. Do not stop breastfeeding because its one breast that is working.
Your personal health also is a big contributing factor to milk production. Therefore, it is crucial that you take good care of yourself to be able to produce enough milk. To improve your milk production, ensure that you take enough water, eat healthy food, and get enough rest. If you’re your breast is producing enough milk to meet your baby’s needs, you do not have to be worried. The most important fact about breastfeeding is not the quantity but the nutritional properties of the milk that nourish your baby to grow properly.
Remember, your body is not symmetrical. Therefore, your breasts are not the same. They are designed as little factories to produce an amazing product for your bundle of joy. Your breasts may or may not return to their original size after 15 months of breastfeeding. Depending on your genetic makeup, they might shrink or sag. This is because the ligaments that hold your breasts may never regain their elasticity again.