What if There is a Big Difference Between Milk Volume in Each Breast?

What if There is a Big Difference Between Milk Volume in Each Breast?

breastfeeding mother

Question of the Day

“I am a mother who is breastfeeding. More than 100ml of breast milk comes out in just a few minutes on the left side even if I try to express it, but on the right side, even if I try to express it longer, I wonder if I will fill the bottle. The shape of my chest also seems to be getting more and more asymmetrical...What should I do?”

First of all, even if there is a difference in the amount of milk between the two breasts, the size of your breast will return to its previous state when you stop producing milk.

Now, breasts may look asymmetrical due to mammary gland development, etc., but after breastfeeding, they will gradually return to their original state. Many things are stressful when it comes to breastfeeding.

There are so many things to be concerned about, such as feeding your baby when you go out, health problems such as mastitis, and breastfeeding at night. So, while breastfeeding, it is a practical way to forget about the stress of the shape of your breasts for a while.

Even if you have an asymmetric breast shape due to the difference in milk volume, it is difficult to completely change something in the current situation. After breastfeeding, your breasts will return to their original shape within 6 months.

I hope you are not too worried or sad. Remember that breastfeeding can be a joyful way of connecting with your baby, and your breasts are allowing this, no matter their shape or size.

What should you do if the amount of milk in one breast is abundant and the amount in the other breast is low?

If there is a lot of milk, breastfeed from the breast with a small amount of milk, then the breast with a higher amount of milk. In the case of the question, you can breastfeed first from the right breast, which has the least amount of milk.

After emptying the right breast with less milk supply, feed the left breast with more milk supply. This will naturally leave a little milk left on your left breast (the side with more milk supply).

When there is little milk left, the amount of milk gradually decreases. If you express a lot, the amount of milk increases, so if you want to reduce the amount of milk in one breast, do not express from it too often.

It is recommended to express mainly on breasts that are ‘wet’ with milk already. If you are experiencing pain in one breast because of the remaining milk, a cold compress may help.

Tip:

After breastfeeding, express the breast on the side with the least milk supply. This will increase the amount of milk in one breast.

By increasing the percentage of breast milk your baby consumes, you can also reduce the difference in the percentage of milk between the two breasts. 

Even if there is a big difference in the amount of milk, if you continue to practice the above method for 2 to 4 weeks, the balance will be slightly improved. In addition, the baby's ability to suckle and the amount of suckling increases, so the imbalance is naturally balanced.

# Parenting advice from Director Hyang-Hwa Kwon

If there is a big difference in the amount of milk between the two sides, will it be difficult to breastfeed?

Even if there is a difference in the amount of milk between the two sides, breastfeeding itself is not a big problem. It is even rarer for a person to have a perfect match for both breasts.

There is a natural difference for all mothers. If there is no problem with the baby's total milk supply when both breasts are combined, it is okay to have a difference in the amount of milk from both breasts. Don't worry too much about the difference in breast size that occurs during lactation, as this will reduce naturally after breastfeeding.

However, if the amount of milk differs too much, it can be painful for mothers, causing issues such as mastitis. When your child is hungry, engage the wet breast first, and after feeding, repeat expressing and expressing milk on that breast.

The method of increasing the feeding volume is basically the same. Put the areola in the child's mouth with the correct posture (in a position where the child can suckle well) and breastfeed for an appropriate amount of time and frequently.

In this way, the amount of milk increases naturally through the action of hormones and the like. At this point, it is important to have the correct posture and breastfeed the baby.

If the posture is not correct, it is difficult for the baby to suckle, and if this happens, the amount of milk will not increase no matter how often you breastfeed. It is helpful to review your posture by taking pictures, etc.

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Author: Kwon Hyang-hwa

- Newborn Childcare Coach
- IBCLC International Breastfeeding Specialist
- Worked as the director of a postpartum care center for 10 years.