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Uneven breasts from breastfeeding: here’s what you can do

Why is my right breast suddenly larger than the left one? Many women notice a difference in the size of their breasts soon after they start breastfeeding - or after several weeks of nursing their baby. Formerly even breasts can become lopsided while breastfeeding, resulting in one side being larger than the other.

Uneven breasts from breastfeeding are not uncommon. But why is that? And what to do if one breast is bigger than the other during breastfeeding? Read on to find out how to fix lopsided breasts from breastfeeding.

Uneven breasts from breastfeeding: possible causes

Many women naturally have slightly different sized breasts. In fact, uneven breasts are almost the norm. Perfectly symmetrical breasts, on the other hand, are the exception rather than the rule. Breastfeeding can increase existing differences in breast size.

Already during pregnancy, the mother’s breasts undergo changes. They often begin to feel tender and become sensitive to pressure. At the same time, the body starts producing additional mammary gland tissue to prepare for lactation. It’s possible that more additional tissue is formed in one breast, which leads to this breast becoming larger.

Milk production itself can also lead to lopsided breasts. If more milk is produced in one breast than the other, this automatically leads to a difference in size. Possible reasons for uneven milk supply in both breasts include:

  • uneven distribution of mammary gland tissue
  • inhibited let-down reflex on one side
  • nipple deformities which can make breastfeeding more difficult on one side which subsequently leads to one size getting less stimulation
  • baby’s preference for one breast
  • single-side breastfeeding due to pre-existing conditions
  • mother’s preference for feeding on one breast
  • temporary breastfeeding from one breast only due to sore nipples, blocked milk ducts or mastitis

Lopsided breasts from breastfeeding can also be the result of additional fatty tissue being stored in the breasts. Once the mother stops breastfeeding, the body typically starts to even out the differences. However, it is possible that the breasts remain slightly asymmetrical even though the mother doesn’t breastfeed anymore.

Lopsided breasts: breastfeeding challenges and how to overcome them

The most important thing to remember is that breast size is not relevant for breastfeeding success. The female breast is naturally built to produce milk, regardless of its size. Whether your breasts are large or small doesn’t impact your ability to breastfeed.

Even if your breasts are different sizes after breastfeeding, this shouldn’t affect how well you can nurse your baby. Uneven breasts are usually more of an aesthetic concern for breastfeeding mums. Especially in cases where the breasts used to be equal in size, the sudden unevenness caused by breastfeeding is often seen as an imperfection in the physical appearance.

Did you know? While lopsided breasts don’t affect breastfeeding, nipple deformities can lead to actual problems for breastfeeding mothers. Check out this article on the Livella blog to learn more about breastfeeding with flat or inverted nipples.

How to even out uneven breasts from breastfeeding

Lopsided breasts normally don’t affect breastfeeding. Instead, it’s mainly the aesthetic imperfection of their body that poses a problem for breastfeeding mums. If having uneven breasts from breastfeeding bothers you, here is what you can do to try to even them out.

  • Stimulate milk production in both breasts: Many new mothers try to increase their milk supply because they are worried that their baby isn’t getting enough breast milk. What often happens in the process is that one breast gets more stimulation, which leads to it becoming bigger than the other one. In order to prevent this, you should always alternate breasts when breastfeeding or pumping milk. If you perform a breast massage to stimulate your milk flow, make sure to always massage both sides.
  • Even out your milk supply: Uneven breasts from breastfeeding are often the result of one breast simply making more milk than the other. The good news is that you can counteract this by regulating your milk production. In other words, you increase the milk production in the smaller breast while simultaneously reducing milk supply in the larger breast.
  • Use bra inserts: Other people usually don’t even notice that your breasts are different sizes after breastfeeding. So it’s mainly your own perception of your body that will make you feel uncomfortable. If your lopsided breasts bother you, you can easily even them out with bra inserts. Depending on how big the difference is, it may already be enough to just wear a nursing pad on one side.

What to do when your breasts are different sizes after breastfeeding

If all of the above doesn’t help, there are different things you can try to fix your lopsided breasts from breastfeeding - or at least feel more comfortable with your breasts being different sizes. If your uneven breasts make you feel uncomfortable when breastfeeding in public, you can use a baby blanket to protect your breasts from prying eyes.

Also, there is a whole range of breastfeeding accessories that can help you even out your different sized breasts. For instance, you can use a breast pump to stimulate the smaller breast further and increase milk supply on this side.

Using breast gel pads for hot and cold therapy can also be helpful. Cold can help lessen the milk production in the larger breast. Heat, on the other hand, encourages milk flow and hence helps your baby drink more effectively from the smaller breast, which will ultimately increase milk supply on this side.

Sometimes, uneven breasts from breastfeeding are caused by the fact that your baby prefers one breast over the other or even refuses to drink from one side. If this is the case, you can try out different breastfeeding positions to see if you can get your little one to nurse on the smaller breast. Another thing you can try is to offer the less preferred breast at night when your baby is sleepy.

A final word on uneven breasts from breastfeeding

Lopsided breasts from breastfeeding are quite common. The fact that one breast is slightly larger than the other one usually doesn't pose problems for breastfeeding. While they are not a medical concern, different sized breasts can, however, make the mother feel uncomfortable with her own body.

There can be various reasons why the breasts are different sizes. Many women naturally have uneven breasts, even without breastfeeding. The changes in the mother’s breast tissue that happen during pregnancy and the onset of lactation can also lead to different sized breasts.

The easiest way to fix uneven breasts from breastfeeding is to even out the milk supply in both breasts. This means increasing milk production in the smaller breast through additional pumping and frequent feeding on this side while simultaneously reducing milk supply in the larger breast.

Uneven breasts from breastfeeding: here’s what you can do

2023-11-29 12:00:00
Uneven breasts from breastfeeding: here’s what you can do - Uneven breasts from breastfeeding: here’s what you can do

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