Feel like your breasts might be lopsided? Like many things in life, including ears, eyes, feet, and fingers, the left side is often different from the right side. This is true for breasts as well. For some women, the difference isn’t noticeable, while for others the difference is noticeable while breastfeeding, manifesting as either a consistent difference in output or a visual difference in size. There are a few different reasons why this condition, commonly referred to as having a slacker boob, can occur. You could have a difference in the physical shape (and size) of your breast or you could have a different amount of mammary glands. Or, your baby could have a preference, which has encouraged a difference in supply of each breast. Slacker boobs are generally not cause for concern; however, if you want to ‘even things out,’ here are some things you can try…
Feed from the slacker boob first
Milk supply increases with demand, so you’ll want to make sure the slacker boob is getting the most demand. Try nursing baby on that side first as the initial sucking tends to be strongest in the beginning when baby is hungry. If baby has a preference for the other side, try changing positions – for example, if you usually nurse in cross-cradle position, try nursing the slacker boob in a football hold so baby is facing the same way.
Feed from the slacker boob more often
Try feeding from the slacker boob more often. For example, if you usually do one breast each feed, consider doing two feeds in a row on the slacker boob.
Pump from the slacker boob after a feeding
Make sure you’re completely emptying the breast as to signal your body to produce more milk. After a feeding, pump for 5-10 minutes on the slacker boob only. Add breast compression or massage while you’re pumping to ensure you’re emptying the breast as much as you can.
Pump longer on the slacker boob
If you’re pumping, try pumping for longer on the slacker boob. For example, if you’re double pumping, go for your normal amount of time on both breasts. Then, transition into single pumping on just the slacker boob. Continue pumping for 5 minutes past the the time your milkflow completely stops or slows substantially. This will let your body know that this breast needs to produce more milk!
Single pump on the slacker boob
Consider adding a few extra pumping sessions throughout the day between feedings or normal pumping sessions, but only pump the slacker boob for these sessions.
With these adjustments you should expect to see a change in output within a couple days to a week. If nothing seems to be happening, there are other things you can check such as whether you need a different sized breastshield on your slacker boob, or see a doctor for a physical evaluation. Generally, however, if you’re producing enough milk for baby and you haven’t experienced a sudden drop in supply on one breast, then a slacker boob is nothing to worry about. As always, if you’re concerned, please seek advice from your care provider.