One Breast Gives More Milk than the Other: Is This Normal?

breastfeeding Is it normal to have one breast produce more milk than the other? How can you tell? And, does this output of milk ever change? Here are some answers.

First, let me assure you that as long as you have established a good nursing relationship with your baby, you will produce as much milk as your baby needs. Your baby won’t suddenly starve if you have been producing milk and nursing successfully. Second, you should know that yes, it is perfectly normal for one breast to produce more milk than the other breast. Why does this happen?

Well, I personally have two theories. The first is that as humans, we are not perfectly symmetrical. While we don’t usually notice these differences in others, most people have one eye that is slightly larger than the other, wear different ring sizes on the ring finger of each hand, and may even have different shoe sizes. This is all perfectly normal, too.

The second theory of mine that I feel contributes to uneven milk production between breasts is the fact that we might subconsciously favor one breast over another. We may offer that one breast slightly more often or nurse longer on that breast. And our babies may favor one breast and nurse longer there. This will tell your body to produce slightly more milk on that side.

Science seems to bear me out on this second theory. A recent study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that there is usually a dominant breast, and that the majority of the time this was the left breast (51.6 percent of the days during the study versus 45.8 percent for the right breast. There was no dominance for 2.6 percent of days.). Perhaps this is because the mother’s heart is on the left side, a source of instinctual comfort to a baby.

How can you tell if one breast is producing more than the other? The best way is by pumping our milk and observing the output. Realize though, that dominance can change and may be affected by things such as health, stress, diet, etc.

Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. Starting June 1st, don’t miss her articles in the Baby Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com

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