Read on to find out the answers to having more milk in one breast and if you should be worried about it.
Having more milk in one breast is actually a very common occurrence.
You may notice this when pumping or expressing (the yield will be different, sometimes significantly) or the size of the breast may vary slightly or be very noticeable — there are many, many variations.
This difference may be due to a variety of reasons: a lower glandular tissue content in one breast, baby’s preference for one side, mum’s preference for one side, or previous breast surgery or injury.
Some babies may fuss or complain if the let-down or flow of milk is slow on the less full side, or if the let-down is very forceful on the fuller side, which may cause a side preference that can make the difference even more noticeable.
Take note though, that this difference in yield should not impact your breastfeeding relationship with your baby, but some mums still prefer to try to even things out.
What can you do about having more milk in one breast?
If this bothers you, there are a few options:
Let it be
The first is to do nothing. If breastfeeding seems to be working out for you and your baby, just continue doing what you’ve been doing so far.
Stimulate the smaller side
A second option is to try to even things out: Try stimulating the smaller side a little more, either via pumping or latching, but be very careful to not neglect the fuller side as this may put you at risk for blocked ducts.
You could always offer the smaller side first for a feed, and then offer the fuller breast once the first side is soft. You could pump the smaller side every time the fuller side is being nursed on first. (Only pump for 5-10 minutes or so).
Another option would be to work in 1 extra pumping session per day for the smaller side (15-20 minutes) in between feeds. Do make sure that you use a good breast pump, or that you use a good technique when hand expressing.
Here’s a link to help you learn how to hand express your milk: http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/HandExpression.html.
Do something different
If you find that the baby prefers the fuller side, you could consider trying different positions, nursing when baby is sleepy, or using motion while feeding.
If the flow is slow, breast compressions can help speed things up a little for the baby.