One Breast Not Producing Milk? Here’s What You Should Do

Breastfeeding is an essential part of ensuring your baby grows healthy and strong. However, it’s frustrating when you discover that one breast not producing milk dilemma. After all, you may be thinking to yourself that you are producing only half of the milk that you should be able to make.

The good news is this problem can be addressed and shouldn’t be a source of stress for you. Let’s find out together why you may be experiencing such an issue and what simple steps you can take to balance your milk supply.

one breast not producing milk

What Causes One Breast Not to Produce Milk?

New moms often face various challenges while breastfeeding. One of the most perplexing issues is when one breast not producing milk becomes a concern. This phenomenon can be distressing, but understanding the potential causes can help address the issue effectively.

  1. Breast Anatomy Differences: Each breast has a unique structure. Some breasts have more glandular tissue, which directly affects milk production. Variations in duct size and number can lead to discrepancies in milk output.
  2. Previous Breast Surgery or Trauma: Any surgery or injury to the breast can impact its ability to produce milk. Scar tissue from surgeries like biopsies or reductions can interfere with the milk ducts, hindering the flow of milk.
  3. Feeding Patterns: Babies may develop a preference for one breast, leading to uneven stimulation. When one breast is favored over the other, the neglected breast may produce less milk over time.
  4. Blocked Milk Ducts: Sometimes, milk ducts can become blocked, preventing milk from flowing properly. This blockage can cause discomfort and lead to reduced milk production in the affected breast.
effects of pumping from one breast only

What Are the Influences of Pumping from One Breast Only?

Pumping from one breast only can have several impacts on milk production and overall breastfeeding dynamics. This practice can lead to a few changes in your body, such as:

  1. Decreased Stimulation: The breast that is not being pumped may receive less stimulation. This can lead to a reduction in milk supply, as regular stimulation is necessary for maintaining production levels.
  2. Imbalance in Milk Supply: When one breast is consistently pumped more than the other, it can create an imbalance. The pumped breast may become overactive, producing more milk than needed, while the other breast produces significantly less.
  3. Engorgement and Discomfort: The neglected breast may become engorged, leading to discomfort and potential complications like mastitis. Engorgement can also make it difficult for the baby to latch properly.
  4. Altered Breast Shape: Continuous pumping from one breast can cause a noticeable change in breast shape and size. This asymmetry might be temporary or, in some cases, permanent.

Effective Methods to Boost Milk Supply in Both Breast

One of the best ways to improve milk supply in both of your breasts is to eat foods that are rich in galactagogues. It is a chemical found in whole grains, high-quality fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables. If you want to boost the milk supply in both of your breasts, you can apply a few proven methods. Here are some effective methods to consider:

  • Switch Nursing: Alternate the breast you start with at each feeding. This ensures both breasts receive equal stimulation, promoting balanced milk production.
  • Frequent Nursing and Pumping: Increase the frequency of nursing and pumping sessions. This helps stimulate milk production by signaling your body to produce more milk.
  • Breast Compression: Use breast compression while nursing or pumping to help empty the breast more effectively. This technique can increase milk flow and stimulate production.
  • Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy diet rich in lactogenic foods—proper hydration and nutrition support overall milk production.

Another important tip that you wouldn’t miss is to use a wearable breast pump. This device allows for hands-free pumping, making it easier to maintain regular sessions.

If you want to increase your milk yield, then go for the eufy breast pump. It has a heating feature that clears clogs and improves milk flow in the breast. It’s also made from comfortable materials that mimic the texture of your baby’s mouth.

eufy breast pump

What Should You Do If Your Baby Prefers Nursing from One Breast?

Some babies prefer to nurse only on one breast for several reasons, such as comfort and compatibility of the said breast to their mouth. If your baby shows a preference for one breast, several strategies can help encourage balanced nursing.

  • Offer the Less Preferred Breast First: Start each feeding session with the less preferred breast. This approach encourages the baby to be nursed equally from both sides.
  • Use Different Nursing Positions: Experiment with various nursing positions to find one that your baby is comfortable with on the less preferred side. Sometimes, a change in position can make a significant difference.
  • Pump the Less Preferred Breast: Pump the less preferred breast to stimulate milk production and relieve engorgement. This can also help increase the milk supply in that breast.

Conclusion

When you discover one breast not producing milk, the best way to handle it first is to observe whether it’s causing you pain or discomfort. If it does, you need to consult your doctor and have it examined. But, most of the time, it’s a minor health issue that can easily be addressed just by changing your breastfeeding practice.

FAQs

Why might one breast produce less milk than the other?

Breastfeeding moms often notice that one breast produces more milk than the other due to differences in breast anatomy, previous surgeries, or the baby’s preference for one side. Hormonal variations can also play a role. Over time, this natural preference can lead to an imbalance in the milk supply between the two breasts.

Can pumping increase milk supply in one breast?

Yes, regular pumping can help increase milk supply in a specific breast. The consistent stimulation from pumping signals the body to produce more milk. Combining pumping with breastfeeding on the same side can further enhance milk production, ensuring a more balanced supply.

Why has my baby stopped feeding on one breast?

Several reasons might explain why a baby stops feeding on one breast. It could be due to a preference for the flow rate from the other breast, discomfort in a particular nursing position, or an issue with the milk supply on that side. Consulting a lactation specialist can help identify and address the underlying cause.

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