So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

Let me start by saying I’m an EBF (exclusively breastfeeding)  mom of a beautiful one year old girl. Now, she’s been interested in solid foods since she could grab them but she still nurses every four hours or so. I’ve never been able to pump very well so I gave it up after two months. My breasts wouldn’t react to a machine the way they do when my baby nurses, and I would only get half an ounce from each breast, which is completely normal for some moms. If you want to read about how to improve pumping, I suggest checking out http://www.workandpump.com.
 
Once we got our routine down and we were both comfortable, my daughter began to prefer the left breast over the right. Soon, she simply refused to nurse from the right breast. After a while it became known as “the other boob.” The unwanted, sad, smaller, still slightly engorged boob. After lots of struggling I figured out that she would nurse on that side at night when she was sleepy. Even though she started to nurse again after a three month strike, things never really went back to normal. My milk supply dwindled on that side, she still refuses the other boob during the day, and she’ll only nurse for a few minutes at night, I assume because there’s not a whole lot of milk there compared to the favorite. 
 
All breastfeeding moms know there’s quirks when it comes to being your babies dinner. Once you get the right position down for a few weeks baby changes their mind and you have to start all over. Once you finally get in a solid routine your little one might decide one boob is better then the other. Why? There’s a variety of reasons. 
 
Letdown
Your letdown could be stronger on one side or the other. Most babies- especially older infants- seem to prefer a faster flow of milk when they’re eating. Once your baby chooses a side, milk production in the other boob will go down if you do not pump regularly,  so even if they start nursing on that side again they may only nurse for a few minutes before wanting to switch to their regular side for more food. Try switching back to the “other boob” once they’ve finished on their preferred side. 
 
Nipple
Your nipples aren’t the same shape or size- no matter how long you stare at them. Maybe one nipple is easier to match on to. Shape and size are a big factor in baby nursing. A lot of babies have a preference for a certain nipple on a bottle, same goes for your own nipples. If your breast is engorged your little one might refuse that side as well, so try to express some milk before hand and see if that helps.
 
Side
Some babies just like laying on one side versus the other. Perhaps try a different position with the other boob so baby isn’t laying on its side. Perhaps the football hold or try laying on the bed with baby and nursing side by side. Because your liver is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps align your esophagus to your stomach, so a baby may favor laying on their left side because it’s easier to swallow and keep their food down without giving them an upset tummy. 
 
Sickness
When babies don’t feel good they will sometimes nurse for comfort. When it comes to something like an ear infection or getting shots they’ll be sore and may choose one side over the other. Make sure you check with baby’s doctor if something seems off or if baby seems like they’re in pain. Babies will often refuse to nurse while they’re teething because sucking can cause discomfort for their already sore and swollen gums. 
 
Can I even the girls out?
You can try pumping as much as possible on the neglected breast. After baby is done eating try pumping your “other boob.” This will help keep your milk supply up and decrease shrinkage. Other then that I have not found a cure for the lopsided ladies. If they’re sore from engorgement or your breasts don’t react to a pump like mine, try soaking in a hot bath and pumping. The warmth can sometimes get things going a little faster and ease pain. I do not recommend drinking fenugreek tea or using other OTC methods of upping your milk supply, however I will say DRINK WATER! Get into the habit of drinking a glass of water every time baby nurses. This will help.
 
Either way, once baby chooses a side we’re left with a decreased milk supply in the other boob. The sad boob. The smaller, less fortunate boob. And as much as you try to pump or get baby to latch, other boob just won’t be the same as the favorite. And that’s okay. Why? Because baby is still happy, heathy and getting fed. You’re still getting all the wonderful bonding time with your little one that will pass too soon. And you’re still as strong as ever for sticking with breastfeeding through all of its ups and downs. Way to go mama! Other boob will have its day again, but for now, let that beautiful baby of yours nurse that liquid gold your amazing body creates. Bask in the awesomeness that our bodies create. 

Jessy Starlin

I'm a single stay at home mommy of a beautiful one year old girl. I'm an exclusively breastfeeding, co-sleeping mommy, although my little girl is growing up and now eats solids. Ever since high school I've loved writing. Now that I'm older I can put it to use through my articles.

As Another School Year Begins, Remember Mama: You Know Your Child Best

In: Kids, Motherhood
little girl holding a first day of kindergarten sign

Dear mom buying school supplies and feeling overwhelmed, Stop and pray. Ask God to help you envision each child as the young adult they can be. Write out your goals for that child . . . fair warning, there will likely be very little academic success in your goals. You may even have to go back and write those in. Take a deep breath. Keep this list of goals nearby. Go back and read them when the world is telling you your child doesn’t stack up somewhere. They aren’t reading as fast, they’re not “getting” math, their handwriting is wonky,...

Keep Reading

Every Time the Doctor Says, “It’s a Girl!” My Heart Grows a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Sisters sitting on park bench

When I’m in the grocery store with my girls, I always get comments. My oldest girls are walking near the cart with my two-year-old running up and down the aisles. “Three little girls! Wow! God bless you, Momma!” Then they look in my cart and see the car seat holding my nine-month-old. “Is that a baby boy in there?” “No, another girl!” I reply. I get a variety of responses when people realize I have four girls under the age of seven. “Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” “Going to try for a boy?” “You are truly blessed—your girls are...

Keep Reading

Raising a Child with a Severe Food Allergy Affects the Whole Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy looking at ice cream cone

I saw something recently that said, “It’s National Ice Cream Day today!” and I cannot stop thinking about it. Now I know that sounds silly, but as a mom of a child with a severe dairy (and egg) allergy, I must admit at times it makes me sad (and more often jealous if I’m being completely honest) when I know my son is going to miss out on another fun or “normal” thing that other kids his age are experiencing, like actual ice cream and ice cream parties. If I continue to be honest, I get jealous when I see...

Keep Reading

So You’re Not the Fun Parent…So What?

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman reading book while two play in background

I’m not the fun parent in our household. Of course, this comes as no surprise to me but it still stung when my 8-year-old said to me rather bluntly the other night, “Daddy’s way more fun than you.” And while the rational part of my brain knows better than to take this kind of comment to heart, my super-sensitive, highly emotional primitive brain did the exact opposite and ran with it.  Daddy is the more fun parent. I’m the stricter, more rigid, and more uptight parent. I’m not the type of parent who, in the spur of the moment, will...

Keep Reading

Mine Is the Shy Kid

In: Kids
Girl sitting on side of playground

I’m the mom of one really shy child. But not your quintessential shy kid. I don’t mean she is “slow to warm up,” because my daughter might not warm up at all. And I don’t mean that she’s only shy until she gets to know you. There are friends and family members she still hides from or won’t talk to. What I mean is my almost-4-year-old struggles so much with her shyness that it’s hard for her to interact with most people. Especially her peers. I’ve Googled more than you could ever imagine about this topic: How shy is too...

Keep Reading

In This Magical Place Called Kindergarten

In: Kids
Kids at elementary school circle time

It’s hard to put into words what happens in a classroom in the course of a year. Especially a kindergarten classroom. For many children, this is their first experience away from home, from their place of comfort and security—the place where they can always be themselves. But teachers are a special breed—especially teachers of littles. And they step into this substitute role with the biggest hearts and the most love to give. They take this unknown, intimidating place and then transform it into a magical, wondrous adventure. A classroom, a community, a family. A place where these little people can...

Keep Reading

Summer Goes by Too Fast

In: Kids
Boy lying on bench at park, color photo

To my oldest, As our summer vacation nears an end and we begin school supply shopping, I think about all the things we didn’t get to do together this summer. I instantly feel mom guilt. All the plans I had made? Only half of them done—if that. RELATED: Remember When Summer Lasted Forever? All the books I was going to read to you at bedtime? Only a couple short ones. All the creative art we would do? Maybe just one time. The fact is, I let time slip away from me. I was too focused and anxiety-ridden about work, my...

Keep Reading

Going on Family Vacation with Young Kids is Work That’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom with two young kids on airplane

Our routine will be a mess. Our toddler won’t sleep in a new environment. Our baby needs all of the gear. The flight could be a disaster. I went through a mental checklist of reasons why this kind of family vacation would be hard. It was a pretty convincing list if I’m being honest. I considered throwing a pity party dedicated to the concerns I shoulder as a mother. A few days later I felt a wave of conviction wash over me. I was dreading a trip that was meant to be a blessing to our family. Any kind of...

Keep Reading

I Want To Raise Good Sisters

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four girls sitting on a rock in the forest, color photo

My current dilemma: how to teach four little girls how to be good sisters when I have no idea what I’m doing? I was an only child growing up, and a tomboy at that. It was a lonely, quiet childhood. I remember wishing for a sister, but knowing that with my single mom, it wasn’t going to happen. So, the sister thing is a big mystery to me. I’ve noticed (admittedly with some envy) adult sisters together and their inside jokes, shared history, and language known only to each other. I’ve read about sisters in books. The relationships between the four...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Just Love You, I Like You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boy standing at bridge, color photo

My growing child, my heart often aches when I look at how big you have gotten. You aren’t a baby anymore, you’re a whole kid. You are your own person, with your own thoughts and feelings. You have your own friendships, and interests.  Parts of me realize you don’t need me the same, but deep down I know you need me all the same. And I’m realizing, that in all of these changes, my love for you is also a like.  RELATED: Being Your Mom is the Greatest Honor of My Life Because now we can connect in a whole...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.