It is a normal when one breast produces more milk. Don’t believe me? Here’s my story… and it’s not quite what you’d expect.
Before reading about how in the heck one breast produces more milk, go ahead and read my previous posts about our breastfeeding journey.
- Preparing for Breastfeeding During Pregnancy
- Breastfeeding Immediately After Birth
- Breastfeeding for the First Six Weeks
- Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work
How One Breast Produces More Milk Begins
Within the first six weeks after birth, it became obvious to me that my left breast had a faster letdown than my right. When my son nursed, he was instantly rewarded with a lot of milk. I had an overactive letdown, but it was stronger on my left side. I was block feeding to help manage my oversupply and overactive letdown.
When we were out an about and needed to nurse, I conveniently used my left breast – it fed him fast and then we could be on our way. I typically nursed from the breast that felt full, the one that seemed like it needed to be emptied. This was my left, more often than not.
Pumping Made it Worse
At three months postpartum I went back to work and began pumping while we were separated. During this time it seemed that pumping threw my supply even more off balance! My left breast produced noticeably more milk than the right. Nothing like a breastpump to really show what side produces more.
Other than noticing that my one breast produces more milk, I didn’t think anything of it really. It didn’t seem like that big of a deal.
After breastfeeding and going back to work for three months I decided to quit my job. I was so excited that I could finally stay at home with my son full time.
He was six months old at this point, and I was oh so ready to stop working and be with him. It was so bizarre to me how I would be separated from my son and not know exactly what he was doing at any given point in time.
Yes, I could call the daycare he was at and they would happily tell me what he was doing, but that got old. I wanted to parent him. I wanted to deal with his wonky sleeping and eating schedule. I was tired from our nutty wake up, go to daycare, go to work, go to daycare, go home, eat, sleep routine. It just wasn’t me.
My Son Made it Worse
I didn’t anticipate any breastfeeding issues to appear once I became a stay at home mom. If anything, I thought things would become easier. Now that I was home full time, I was nursing full time. NO MORE PUMPING!!
But my six month old TEETHING son DID NOT LIKE my right breast producing less and having to wait a longer time for letdown. That’s right, when he was on my right side he would get frustrated and BITE!
Since I’m a path of least resistance type of parent, I decided we would just go with what he wanted and stop nursing on the right side. Yup, I became the lactating uni-boob.
I didn’t really think through this decision, since I didn’t expect him to be nursing much past the first year. I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal to nurse on one side for six more months.
Well, my cutie pie baby boy had other plans. We nursed right up until he was just shy of two years old and yes, we continued to just nurse on my left side.
(My boobs are small, but when I mentioned it to other moms everyone could immediately tell that there was a difference in size between the left and right breast. If you look closely at the pictures, you might be able to see the difference in size. Don’t laugh!)
Is it Fixable?
With Gabriel I tried a few things to see if I could fix our one boob nursing situation. Since he refused to nurse on the right side, at night while he was sleeping I would let him nurse as long as he wanted on my right. I let him use me as a pacifier. But that didn’t even fix the problem.
Another time I went away for the weekend and pumped on both sides the whole time to try to re-establish my supply on the right. That didn’t work.
After that, I tried to accept it and move on. I guess nursing on the left was OUR normal.
(Oh and you know what was totally bizarre? The milk that my right breast produced was “weaning milk” while my left breast continued producing normal milk. Weaning milk has the consistency of colostrum – yellow and sticky. It had a salty taste to it too. SO WEIRD.)
After I had my second child I noticed the same pattern happening.
By the time I had my third child I knew I wanted things to be different. I didn’t want to only feed my children on the left side!
So after I had my THIRD child I did a few things COMPLETELY different and at the time of updating this article, 1 year postpartum, I am successfully breastfeeding from both breasts. Hooray!
Here’s what I did differently the third time to prevent the lactating uniboob situation…
- No matter what, I offered the both breasts at each feeding.
- Basically, I stopped block feeding.
- No matter what, I offered the right breast first.
- Even if the left breast (the work horse) felt extrememly full, I offered the right breast first.
At one year postpartum my left breast still produces significantly more, however, I have noticed if I only feed my baby on one side (even the left) she is not full and needs the milk from the other breast as well. This is completely different than how things went down with my older two children.
What About You?
Did you have any supply issues? Did anybody out there *gasp* only nurse on one side like me? Did you find a solution? Leave me a comment and let me know.
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I’ve seen plenty of tears and heard families’ frustrations over not knowing how often to feed, whether their baby was getting enough milk, or how to avoid breastfeeding pain.
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Friday 19th of March 2021
I thought I was alone in this! I am a right boob-er with my son. My question is-after breastfeeding, can they go back to being equal size? Or will I know have one larger than the other for life?
Saturday 20th of March 2021
Definitely goes back to normal!! :)
Friday 10th of April 2020
I feel like I just read a summary of my nursing life! I also had uniboob and only nursed from the left with my 3rd and 4th babies. The left side has always been such a big producer that I named them!! Big Momma and Little Stuff! I am currently solely pumping for baby number 5 (8 months) and there is a drastic improvement in the uni boob department. Left side is still the main producer but the right side at least looks fuller.
Friday 17th of April 2020
Tuesday 13th of August 2019
When my baby was born my milk only came in on the 5th day and when it did my right boob was extremely swollen but I was feeding on the left. The nurses at the hospital helped me to express for this is my first child and I had no clue what to do. So in this process the nurses expressed me and I was blue and purple and was so sore to even touch my right boob. Now I've been feeding on the left boob and now my baby doesn't want my right boob. She fights me! There is milk coming out but she simply refuses. And there is a huge size difference! What can I do!!
Monday 15th of August 2016
I too did exactly the same thing by nursing on just one side with my 5th child. For me it started with getting mastitis continually with the left side. I grew tired of it and started nursing only on the "work horse" side, my right. I didn't mind that there was a slight difference in size! I nursed all my kids for 2 years as well. I read articles about it also. It's more common than j thought! Thanks for the share!
Saturday 27th of August 2016
LOL! Glad I'm not the only one.
Sunday 7th of April 2013
I nurse from one side and I had no idea why it happened this way until now. I am too lazy at night to switch. Oblong, that's me.