You have one. You were hoping it wasn’t true, but all the signs point to it. You just got done with a pumping session and you proudly look at what you produced. One pump bottle has an amazing amount of breast milk and you are proud of your overachiever. But the other pump bottle has half of the first one, if not less. Yup, you have one. A slacker boob.
Does this sound like you? If you have a slacker boob, you may be thinking that something is wrong. I can assure you that nothing is wrong! Keep reading to find out what a slacker boob is, why it happens, and how to fix it!
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What is a Slacker Boob?
A slacker boob, or lazy boob, is where one breast produces less milk than the other. It is completely normal to have some variation in milk production.
Yet, you may have enough variation where there is an obvious difference and there is an uneven milk supply. This could be anywhere from 1-2 ounces less or even more! The slacker boob pales in comparison to the overachiever boob. Even after trying other methods of increasing supply, such as these lactation brownie boobie bites.
Having a lazy boob is quite a common issue among breastfeeding and pumping moms. In a survey I did of 100 moms, 88% of us have a slacker boob. And of those with an underachiever, 58% was on the right.
*Note: this survey was performed on social media and may be biased towards moms with slacker boobs who are more likely to respond.
With this data, know that you are not alone!
Do I Have a Slacker Boob?
You can tell if you probably have a slacker boob in a few ways:
- If you are nursing, your baby is fussy or refuses one side. And this makes sense! They like the side with milk.
- If you are pumping, one side expresses more milk than the other
- There is physical asymmetry where one breast is physically larger than the other.
Why does a Slacker Boob Happen?
As with breast milk production, a slacker boob occurs due to supply and demand. For some reason, the demand for the slacker boob is down so the supply is less.
Does your little one favor one side while nursing? Maybe they are more comfortable on one side due to a poor latch or forceful let-down. This creates less demand for the lower performing boob ➡ leads to lower milk production ➡ baby refuses that side ➡ creates less demand ➡ repeats! It’s a vicious cycle.
The demand for the slacker boob can be lowered in other instances. For example, forgetting to switch sides or always starting with the same breast when nursing.
But don’t worry, the next section will provide solutions to kick that slacker in high gear and increase milk supply!
How to Fix a Slacker Boob
Since a slacker boob occurs due to supply and demand, it *should* be easy to fix. Just increase the demand and the supply will follow!
Pump for Extra Credit
After a normal pump session where you pump both breasts, pump the slacker boob for a few extra minutes. It may take a little longer, but the effort is well worth it. This increases the demand for that side. Note that you may not feel another let-down. Yet nipple stimulation helps signal your body that more breast milk is needed. Thus, it will hunker down and produce more.
Most breast pumps allow you to single pump by plugging the tube valve. But keep the flange attached to the other side. This is to catch any let down from the overachiever breast since let downs occur at the same time!
Power Pump the Slacker Boob Only
Increase the demand for the slacker boob by power pumping that side exclusively. Keep your other nursing and pumping sessions the same. Thus, it’s easiest to power pump after the baby is down for the night or right before your bedtime.
Again, this will take some time, but you should start noticing a difference after 5-7 days if you power pump daily.
Heat can promote the production and expression of breast milk. They wake up those milk ducts! You can use a heating pad before or during a pumping session. This heat pack conforms to your breast and can be used while you pump! That’s why are listed as a breastfeeding essential that every mom needs.
Vibration dramatically increases the flow of milk by “milking” the milk ducts for all they have. It also decreases the risk of clogged ducts and mastitis and helps you achieve a faster let down.
This lactation massager is loved by moms since it’s designed specifically for the breast. It’s also waterproof and rechargeable.
But, you can also use your electric toothbrush for vibration and breast massage. Please note to use the flat backside or base only.
Nurse From the Slacker Boob First
While the previous tips were for pumping, you can also attempt to fix a slacker boob while nursing. One way to do so is to nurse or feed from the slacker boob first to help increase demand. The baby’s initial sucking tends to be strongest when they first start eating since they are hungry. Makes sense!
Keep in mind that these tips will help bring your slacker boob up to par with your other boob. It does NOT mean that you should expect less from your overachiever. In other words, we are happy with the supply produced by the overachieving boob and do not want to change it.
Nothing should change with our pumping or nursing sessions in regards to that. Continue to pump or nurse the same way. By fixing a slacker boob, we are only trying to increase the demand to that side while keeping the demand for the normal side the same.
A slacker boob can be a frustrating circumstance. Take comfort in knowing that it is a common phenomenon among us breastfeeding and pumping moms. The answer to fixing an underachieving boob lies within supply and demand.
This blog post aimed to list the ways to increase the demand for the slacker boob so that the breast milk supply is also increased. With a little time and effort, the hope is to have equal boobs, both in size and production!
Do you have a slacker boob? Which method of fixing the slacker boob will you try first?