Different-Sized Breasts. Will This Impact Breastfeeding?
Question: I have different sized breast and I am wondering if this will affect my breastfeeding abilities. Why is one breast bigger than the other, and is there anything I can do about it?
Having a different-sized breast is a very common concern. Most women have different-sized breasts with the left being larger than the right. The two breasts are independent of each other and aren't like mirror images of each other. For some women the size difference is hardly noticeable; in others, it is very noticeable.
While the difference in sizing may look odd to you, it has no bearings on your ability to breastfeed or the amount of milk you will produce. Neither does the shape or size of your breast.
It is also normal for one breast to produce more milk. All women have one breast that has more working ducts and alveoli than the other. This is usually the left side, though either is normal.
Having one breast produce more milk should also not be a cause of concern for you.
There should be no reason that you can't produce enough milk for one baby even if one side produces much more than the other. The only reason for having two breasts instead of one is that your body is designed to nurse twins if necessary.
What can you do minimize different sized breast?
If there is an obvious difference in appearance through your clothing, you may want to use nursing pads to give a more even appearance. Usually, a difference in size is much more noticeable to you than to anyone else.
Here are some other things you can do to try to minimize the difference between your breast sizes:
- Start baby on the smaller side for a few days. A baby usually nurses more vigorously on the first breast offered.
- Nurse on the smaller side twice as often. For instance, if you nurse on one side per feeding, you might nurse on the small side for two feedings, the larger side for one, then back to the smaller side for the next two feedings.
- Pump the smaller side for 5-10 minutes after some feedings.
- Add an extra pumping session, that lasts for 10-20 minutes on the smaller side only, in between feedings.
Need Help? Don't fret!
When in doubt, please refer to a lactation consultant, who can offer you more personalised advice according to you and your baby's situation.
Also read: 5 Factors That Determines Your Breast Size