Lopsided breasts are uneven in terms of size, shape, milk supply, or baby’s preference. Some women are physiologically lopsided. Such breasts are more prone to uneven milk supply.
Uneven breasts can be the result of your baby’s preference of one breast over the other. The more baby sucks on one breast, the more milk comes in, the larger the breast gets, and the smaller the non-favorite breast seems.
Your baby readily develops preference towards the easiest-to-get-milk-from breast. It is important, however, to encourage your baby to breastfeed successfully from both breasts.
First of all, look for possible reasons why your baby prefers one breast over the other. Here are some ideas:
▪ Birth injury. Try to think of any possible injuries, even minor ones that your baby suffered. He/she may just be uncomfortable staying down on the injured side.
▪ Your preference. Did you breastfeed from one breast more frequently during the first days? Maybe the other one was engorged and painful to nurse from? Babies form habits easily.
▪ Surroundings. Check the place where you breastfeed. It may be that your baby doesn’t like the lighting or the sound of something. It could be anything. Try moving around or facing the other way and then offering the less favorite breast again.
▪ Physiological characteristics. You may be physiologically lopsided. Has one of your breasts always been smaller than the other one? Was there an
injury or a surgery? Things like these may cause milk supply and flow in each breast to be
The baby may dislike one breast because the flow is too fast or too slow. Fast flow makes them gulp and swallow air. It prevents them from relaxing while nursing. It usually happens because of leaking breasts or oversupply. Try expressing some milk before the feeding to relieve breast fullness.
On the other hand, some breasts are hard to get the milk out. They are full, but milk flows slowly. Try compressing your breast areola with your fingers and massaging your breast during breastfeeding.
The breast may adjust to holding and releasing milk easily. Or you may need to do compressions and massage every feeding.
One of my breasts was like that. The only way my son stayed on it was if I was massaging and compressing it constantly to get a good flow.
Milk flow can also be slow because of low milk supply.
▪ Mom’s or baby’s illness. If your baby refuses one breast all of a sudden, it may be a sign of an ear infection, teething or some other condition. Your baby gets uncomfortable lying down on the side that hurts. Look for other symptoms.
Sudden breast refusal can be caused by mom’s illness too. In some cases mastitis or breast abscess may change consistency and taste of the milk.
These problems are temporary and go away once the condition is relieved.
Try keeping the non-favorite breast working, but it is more important to keep breastfeeding a pleasant experience for both of you. You don’t want your baby to go on a nursing strike as a result of pressure and excessive trying. I know it is hard work, but try to relax and enjoy the journey!
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