How to Work With Your Slacker Boob, and Make the Most of Breastfeeding
Slacker Boob has become a popular term to refer to a mother’s breast which has a lower output than the other. Moms might use this term jokingly but it can become a source of real frustration. It can lead us to worry about our breast health or the overall success of our breastfeeding journey. The truth is that our breasts are sisters, not identical twins.
Differences in the Makeup of our Breasts
The differences between our two breasts extend beyond their size and shape. They each have different amounts of milk ducts, and breast milk making tissue. The nipple structure may also differ between your breasts. A woman might have one everted nipple (what we think of a normal shape), and one inverted or flat nipple. All of this has a direct impact on the amount of milk each of your breasts can physically make.
In short, there is nothing wrong with your slacker boob. Rather than worry about the amount of milk it produces, we can work with our bodies, and the way they produce milk.
How Do You Know If You Have a Slacker Boob?
If you pump, the difference between your breasts is visually evident. You’ll notice that one side has a lower output than the other. But what if you are nursing and don’t have that visual evidence? Your baby will often tell you by preferring one side over the other. This is because they will generally get more to eat from one side, and they will start to prefer that side.
Snacker Boob Not Slacker Boob: How to Work with Your Body
If your baby prefers one side over the other, it is important to still offer the slacker boob. Our bodies make milk on a supply and demand basis. If we are not fully emptying our breasts, our bodies will interpret that as a signal to produce less milk.
Different Breasts for Different Situations
When your baby is hungry, they’ll want to nurse from the side that produces more milk. This is okay. You don’t have to try to fight them and coax them to nurse from the other side. Instead, reserve that snacker boob as a snack for when your baby is tired or cranky and wants to nurse for comfort or to fall asleep.
Try Offering This Side First
Think of offering your baby an hors d'oeuvre, before the main course. The suckling on this side can help in a few different ways. One, it keeps that side producing milk. Two, it can help you achieve your let down so that your body is ready to go when it’s time to switch.
We can help our bodies produce more milk even when our babies might not be nursing from one side. One option is to try hand expression in the shower. The warm water and moist heat can help stimulate the flow of milk. Some moms will even hop in the shower with their baby for a quick feed on this side.
While your baby nurses on the side with higher output, you can try pumping on the other side. You can use a manual or electric pump, whatever works best for you. This will help protect your milk supply, while also giving you extra to store in your refrigerator or freezer. You can bottle feed this extra milk to your little one, use it to treat bumps, scrapes and rashes, make a milk bath and more!
If you need a bit of extra cushion or comfort while pumping, our BeauGen Breast Pump Cushions are a great addition to your pump. Be sure to use our free sizing tool so that you can get the most out of pumping with or without our cushions.