uneven production

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2009
uneven production
Fri, 03-05-2010 - 11:58am
My DD turned 6 months last week and we have a nursing question. She always takes both sides when she nurses. I have struggled with supply issues and her weight gain has been borderline since birth. I've noticed for a couple of months now that she prefers my left side, and when I've pumped after she's in bed (to get BM supplement for the next day), my left side has always produced 1-2x as much as my right. In the last week or so, though, I've been pumping even less from the right, and she has been nursing on it less, so I have been starting her on the right for all feeds. She will only eat for 3-4 minutes before pulling off and fussing; I put her on the left and she consistently eats a solid 10ish minutes with no fussing. I usually put her back on the right but can only get her to eat for 1-2 more minutes there at best. I have also noticed she chokes from time to time on the right side (maybe every other day). ??? I guess I am worried that my right side is going to dry up if we go on like this, and that then I won't have enough milk for her. What should I do? TIA for your help.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2006
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 10:26pm

I have the same thing. What helps for me is whenever my little one gets into the mellow suck for comfort mode or is half asleep, I put him on the less productive side and let him hang on as long as he wants which helps boost up the production a bit.

I find that if I let him spend too little time on the side that produces less, it keeps making less and less and the other side keeps making more and more and then well, I get very lopsided looking (which is quite evident even through my clothes throughout the day). It is not uncomfortable but I personally like to avoid it if possible. If you do get lopsided, don't worry you can reverse that, by increasing milk output on that side again.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Wed, 03-10-2010 - 3:01pm

If weight gain is a problem, go easy on the introduction of solids. Breast milk has more calories than nearly all foods.

There are exceptions that are good foods for baby to try.

Avocado, or some good oils on a bit of soft pasta (Buy those tiny soup size pasta shapes), sweet potato, banana are all good. They are all easy to get fresh and quick to prepare for baby. But a lot of vegies will be bulky and low in calories. If they tend to replace a bit of breastmilk, weight gain could prove even more of a problem.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2009
Sat, 03-06-2010 - 11:12pm

Thanks so much for your reply--I will keep trying to follow her lead!

Weight at birth was 8 lb 5 oz, low point of 7 lb 10 oz at three days old, birth weight regained at 3 weeks exactly. At 2 months she was 9 lb 10 oz, 4 months 11 lb 6 oz, 6 months 13 lb 8 oz. I think her average weight gain between her 4 month and 6 month visit was about 3.5 oz/week. Head circumference and length have been consistent percentiles all along (head ~ 25%, length ~50th); developmentally she is right on track. Pediatrician is not worried (but knows I have been) and has kept an eye on it; we supplement a few oz/day per his request. We are starting solids slowly (one meal/day) and trying to stick with fruits/veggies as opposed to the cereals. We hope to eventually replace the supplement with solid foods but haven't received much guidance on this from the doc.

Thanks again for your help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Sat, 03-06-2010 - 1:43pm

Most women have one breast that produces more than the other. We’re all lopsided! Women are able to produce enough from one breast to feed one baby. This is what happens with twins or if a woman has lost one breast to cancer.

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte