Here's why breastfeeding babies prefer one boob over the other

There’s a reason your baby prefers one boob over the other while breastfeeding [Photo: Getty]
There’s a reason your baby prefers one boob over the other while breastfeeding [Photo: Getty]

Breastfeeding mums are often advised to encourage their babies to feed from both boobs.

But as many nursing mothers will likely testify, sometimes no matter how much you try to switch them between breasts, your baby definitely has a favourite side.

According to one midwife, you’re right in thinking little ones have do develop a preference for a certain boob.

And there’s a very good reason behind their bias.

“A lot of women lactate better on one side,” professional midwife Cath Curtin explains on Mamamia’s Year One podcast.

“For some women, one [breast] is really big and one is really small,” she continues.

“I’ve looked after women whose breast tissue has only developed on one side and they’ve breastfed babies really well on the one side.”

The breastfeeding companion has a video which has some helpful advice for how to deal with the situation, including visiting your doctor to check your baby doesn’t have any minor injuries which might be causing him to feel uncomfortable on a particular side.

There could be some other reasons your baby has developed a boob bias though.

If you’ve noticed your baby fussing, pulling away, or simply refusing one particular breast, The Breastfeeding Companion suggests it could be because they’re having trouble latching on.

“Some women have a flatter nipple on one side and a more protruding one on another, and babies sometimes just take a bit of extra time to get to feed as well from both sides,” a transcript from the video advises.

Boob bias is nothing to worry about [Photo: Getty]
Boob bias is nothing to worry about [Photo: Getty]

If your baby has been feeding really well on both sides and then suddenly starts to become more fussy on just one particular side, it could be something as simple as an ear infection, which is causing them to be more uncomfortable on that particular side.

Having recently had mastitis could also affect a mother’s milk supply in one side. Likewise if your baby is a little older, refusing one breast may also be because its milk supply is beginning to run low.

In terms coping with a one boob bias, the advice from Cath is simple.

“It’s just ‘respond to your baby’,” she says. “Every baby is different.”

But if you’re at all concerned then seek advice from your GP or health visitor.

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