Does your baby prefer one breast?

This is a common concern amongst new parents….But why!?

•Each breast can hold a different volume of milk, have a different letdown and the milk can even have different flavours! Babies will usually prefer the side with more milk and a faster letdown.

•Some babies are born with tension in their neck and shoulders from the way they were positioned in the uterus (ie breech) or a difficult birth (ie a forceps delivery). This condition is called torticollis and can mean they find it more comfortable to feed from one side.

•Our breasts and nipples can be different. A baby might find it easier to feed from one breast because they prefer the shape of the nipple to the other breast.

•Side preference from you. We might be latching better on one side than the other because we are right handed, or we are stronger on one side.

•A baby might have an injury such as a bruise or ear infection on one side of their body.

•In the case of muscle tension babies might benefit from cranial osteopathy – this is safe for newborns. There are also other types of ‘body work’ for babies such as a chiropractor or cranial sacral therapy – there isn’t enough evidence that one works better for newborns over another, so it’s down to your preference.

•Try different positions on the least preferred breast, this is especially helpful if the baby has tension in their body. Laid back breastfeeding can take the pressure off their body.

•If the side preference is down to the milk flow and volume you can try breast compressions and massage on the breast with the slower letdown.

•Always offer the ‘least favourite’ breast first and if baby is refusing it you should pump from it to keep the milk supply up.