Mother’s Milk is the best food for the newborn baby and no formula can even come close to it. For some mothers, adequate milk supply is a problem while others suffer from an uneven Breast milk supply. This happens when one breast produces a huge amount of milk while the other one has a scanty supply. This is a common challenge that many mothers face and there are solutions to tackle it.
There are so many factors that can cause this unevenness of milk supply. Here’s why one of your breasts might be producing less amount of milk.
1. Your Child’s Preference
The baby might favor one side over the other. There might be many reasons for such a behaviour, like a difference in the nipple size or there might be an issue with latching on to that breast. Another reason can be that the baby is having some trouble in his one ear, for example, an ear infection. Or that might be the side where he was immunized and is still tender. Whatever the reason be, it is better to talk to your pediatrician and sort it out at the earliest.
2. Mother’s Preferred Hand
The mom’s dominant side plays quite an important part in the breastfeeding. She might be more comfortable holding the baby on that side. She feels her baby is safe that ways while nursing for a longer time. In such cases, the other breast gets less attention and,hence, might lead to lesser milk production.
3. Anatomy Of The Breasts
No person is perfectly symmetrical. It is very common for women to have different sized breasts. Even the milk ducts can differ in these breasts, leading to an uneven milk supply.
4. Weak Or Forceful Letdown
One of your breasts might have a quick letdown. This might be overwhelming for your baby and he or she may pull away from that breast and prefer the other. On the other hand, a weak letdown can be quite tiresome for your little one. So, naturally, your baby goes for the other side. Do breast compressions while feeding the baby on this weaker breastas this will help increase the flow.
Now that we’ve dealt with the possible causes, here’s a look at the possible solutions to balance an uneven supply of breast milk.
1. Begin With The Weaker Breast
Babies tend to feed more vigorously at the beginning of the feeding cycle. So, begin with the weaker side and nurse on this side for a longer time during each feeding. Increasing the frequency of nursing on this side can also help maintain a good milk supply.
2. Apply Warmth
Warmth can stimulate milk production. Wrap your breast in a warm towel for some time before feeding your baby. This might not prove to be effective on the first go but doing it for a few times will surely enhance milk production.
3. Use A Glider
Sometimes the position in which you are nursing your baby can hamper or help the feeding process. If you are feeding your baby while on the bed or a sofa, then you unknowingly tend to feed on the more comfortable side. The solution for this problem is feeding your baby on a nursing glider. These easy chairs are designed in a way so that you can feed on both the sides comfortably.
4. Use A Breast Pump
Using a breast pump on this weaker side can also stimulate milk production. Pump milk after having a warm bath or having a meal for a better output. While your little one is emptying his favorite breast you can relieve your other one with a pump. This will eventually lead to an even milk supply in both the breasts.
5. Increase Water Intake
Keep a water bottle and a glass handy and sip on the water while you are feeding your baby. Drinking more water before pumping out milk can also increase the flow in the weaker breast.
6. Correct Latching At The Beginning
A newborn baby can have problems while latching on to one breast. This must be corrected immediately so that he does not favor a particular side.
Sit comfortably and bring your baby’s head slightly upwards and put his chin and cheeks close to your breast. The areola should touch the bottom lip of your baby. If you are doing this for the first time, then you might even express some milk in his mouth with the help of your fingers.
7. Eat Food That Boosts Milk Production
Eating the right kind of food can also increase the milk supply and flow. Green leafy vegetables, carrots, yams, and garlic are good for a new mom. Fruits like papaya and avocado are excellent for milk production. Millets, barley, and oats can also work wonders for you. A diet which includes almonds, sesame oil, and fish can also speed up the process.
8. Look After Both Breasts
It may so happen that you are paying all the attention to your weaker breast and the other one is simply neglected. Do not forget that this is your baby’s favorite side and it should be given its due time. The balance should be maintained in both the sides otherwise your baby might again choose a particular side.
Adjusting to any new behavior takes time for the baby and the mother. Keep trying until you have achieved the balance. These things come to some mothers easily while it takes a longer time for others. Do not compare your experience with that of the others and fret unnecessarily. So, relax and give yourself some credit for doing a wonderful job.
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