Breastfeeding Personal Posts

I Have a “Personal Problem,” So I’m Posting it on the Internet (Tee-hee)

#breasfeeding via @chgdiapers

I’ve been breastfeeding for about 5 of the last 8 years, and all 3 of my babies have preferred my right side over the left. “TMI” follows so go ahead and back away if it bothers you. I figure the best thing to do about a personal problem is to tell the interwebs about it, right? 😉

Like most women, I’m not perfectly “even” on both sides even when I’m not breastfeeding , but since any size breast can breastfeed, it really shouldn’t matter. However, I noticed that my left side produced a fraction of the right when I pumped, was slower to let down, and while the right side had about 4 “streams”, the left side had 1 stream and another area that dripped. (Weird, right?)

I did a lot of breastfeeding research & was very active in some breastfeeding support groups when my first child was born, so I quickly learned that it was pretty normal to be a bit asymmetrical, and/or have a “champ” and a “dud” side when breastfeeding.

I’ve tried with each child to get them to nurse on the left side anyway, by changing positions etc, but they all but refused to nurse on that side. This made the size difference much more pronounced while breastfeeding, but once my kiddos weaned, things were back to normal and the size difference was hardly noticeable.

Well, lately my son has completely refused to nurse on the left side! I can rarely get him to nurse for a minute when he is really, really sleepy, but that’s about it. Since he nurses all night long, I feel like my supply is greater than it was at this age with my other two, which makes the right side even bigger.

Since he’s 13 months old, I really don’t want to deal with trying to correct the lopsidedness. and I’m certain he’s getting plenty of milk from the right side. The problem is that if my right side is “full,” the size difference is so pronounced, it’s like “sweater kitten” vs “sweater lion.” It’s ridiculous! Like probably 2+ cup sizes difference! I tend to dress in layers for ease of breastfeeding, but one day I had a horizontal striped shirt on and it was hilarious. I looked like an abstract painting.

Fingers crossed things “even out” as he weans, but I feel like I should be submitting a Mailbox Mondays question about how to stuff my bra, LOL!!

Anyone else have a “champ” and a “dud?”

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • March 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Have you tried wearing a sports bra? It might make the difference less noticeable.

  • February 1, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    🙂 If it makes you feel better, same here! At least he nurses pretty evenly, but still – they are a cup size apart.

  • January 25, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I’m kinda glad you wrote this b/c I thought I was the only one. Mine is the opposite sides as you but the SAME exactly thing with the pumping and the “streams” 🙂
    Right now my son WILL nurse either side, but that’s b/c I MAKE him. My older son started to insist on one side over the other when he approached a year and that made things start to look really off! LOL. I hope I can maintain equilibrium this time around with some careful planning!! 🙂

  • Milka
    January 25, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Oh my! I needed this after the day I had! LOL! Yeah, I hear ya’. I’m a lefty though. Baby refuses to nurse from the right one, even when I try to position her she screams her head off until I turn her around so she can nurse on the left boob. Needless to say I too am loop sided. DH noticed it and he laughed his butt off, I wasn’t as amused because it is very obvious especially when wearing form fitting sweaters. To make things worst righty was the smallest of the 2 to begin with, now it’s just ridiculous!

  • Bethany
    January 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I have the same issue. Though I get a bit more than you and my sides are reversed. Lol
    I do know it is entirely possible to only nurse on one side as I personally know two moms who’ve done it. You can always pump the other side and freeze it, donate it, use it to make soap or yogurt, etc.

  • Rebecca G.
    January 24, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I think this is funny to read – I am the same, but m situation is, my one side gets clogged all the time and not the other side. We’re 11.5 months now and I wonder if I should just let the one side dry up and feed on the good side (we only nurse on one side at a time).

  • Caitlin
    January 24, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    My left is bigger than my right 🙂

  • Elizabeth Volker
    January 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Bahahahaha “I looked like an abstract painting.” SO funny! My newbie definitely prefers the left, but it’s been different with each kid. I produce so much milk that he only needs to eat from one side at each feeding, so I get a bit lopsided too 🙂

  • megan
    January 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    There is a group of people called the Tanka people in china who only nurse on their right side.

  • Lindsey D
    January 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I had the same problem, to the point where I would pump the left side and was exclusively nursing on the right…by month 8 Lefty was only giving me about 1/2 an oz a day so I fired her. Righty was used to pulling all the weight at this point so it wasn’t a big deal…except the size difference! B cup vs DD….not cool. Anyways, Lefty is having the last laugh now that we are all weaned and she still has a little “perk” left to her, while poor Righty is shriveled and sad. Such is life.

    • January 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Oh dear, you made me snort. Glad I wasn’t drinking anything! I think I’m going to have to let lefty go too. Unfortunately I don’t think I have any hope of perk, LOL.

  • January 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Maria you are hilarious !!! I love this post buying do hope your tatas even out !! Ill be be praying !!

  • January 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Hahaha, my right is my champ as well, but so far my daughter will feed off of either side (though if she’s getting cranky because she wants to eat NOW and won’t wait for my milk to letdown, I usually end up putting her on the right because it seems to need less stimulation to letdown). She’s only 3 months, so we’ll see if she ends up rejecting the left entirely, but I sure hope not! The size difference is already noticeable, and it’d be a bummer to end up MORE lopsided as we head into summer and tank top/lighter t-shirt weather! 😉

  • Brittany
    January 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I’ve always been a cup size or more lopsided lol. my left is like a b cup now that I’m pregnant and my right a D! Argh. I was worried about the left not functioning as well as the right too… but awkwardly and (tmi) my left nipple is also different, much different, than my right. i don’t know if it’s technically inverted or flat or whatever but it definitely doesn’t look normal >.< meh. thanks though for writing this. it makes me feel better to know i'm wont be the only one if things don't work 100% on both sides when she comes soon!!

  • karissa
    January 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    i read another blog post about this over a year ago. it was hilarious. so the mom got a fake boob to wear on the one that produced no milk. 😀

    good luck maria!

    • January 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      LOL! I need a fake boob!

  • January 24, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I’m laughing out loud at this post, Maria, but not at you – just with you! A champ and a dud? Yep, we have those here as well. All of my babies have favored the left side. It sticks out more. It produces more. Can’t do much about nature, and like you I’ve found that “behavior modification” hasn’t worked well. LOL

    Maybe you could wear padded nursing bras and just remove the pad from the “champ” side? Or wear double nursing pads over the “dud?”

    • January 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      I was thinking one of those chicken cutlet bra stuffers, LOL.

  • January 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I have the same problem. My son refuses to nurse from my right side at all anymore. The size difference is noticeable.

  • January 24, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I think mine are fairly even, but I do have one that seems to produce faster, Lefty. You know, the one that practically drowns the newborn it’s so excited to go go go!!?!! lol. Also the one that tingles the most if it is ignored. Now that we’re down to 2x a day I usually try and make it the nap side and the other one the night side, less painful. I knew someone that nursed day on one side and night on the other. How about, just don’t wear stripes? Lol.

    • January 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Yes, no more stripes for me, ha ha!!

  • amii fritz
    January 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Hahaha. I’m “left-sided” in that respect. But even when full I still only have “sweater kittens” 🙂

    • January 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      That term has always struck me as hilarious.

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