I now it sounds kind off weird, but our son likes drinking milk from one breast more than the other, so I was wondering if it could be a taste thing.

We tried different feeding positions, and all work for one, but he drinks from the other only if he's really hungry

asked 20 Dec '09, 16:07

JJJ's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

I think we had this experience. My partner had some trouble feeding on one breast --- she had some mastitis on one side, and our baby really didn't seem to want to eat on that side. (It's unclear which direction the causation was here!) In fact, for a while that breast was smaller, and producing less milk than the other.

The solution was suprisingly easy. My partner had been trying to feed our baby evenly, alternating sides. Eventually she decided to give up on this, and just feed him on whichever side felt fullest. I know this seems counter-intuitive, but this improved things a lot, and a while later he's now feeding happily on both sides.

It's nice when the "do whatever feels best" solution actually works. :-)


answered 20 Dec '09, 16:20

Scott%20Morrison's gravatar image

Scott Morrison
accept rate: 33%

+1 for doing what feels best.

(20 Dec '09, 19:08) cat_g

This worked for me as well.

(21 Dec '09, 03:40) Fun2Dream

My son goes through phases where he prefers on side or the other. Sometimes it only lasts a day, sometimes a couple weeks. If he refuses one side and I start to feel engorged or I am worried about the supply going down in that breast, I will get out the breast pump and use it to empty that side. Then I either freeze that milk or use it when I prepare food for the baby (i.e. mix it into his cereal or mashed bananas).

I have found that sometimes I can "trick" him into taking the side that he has been refusing by giving him his pacifier and once he starts sucking, I line up my nipple, pull out the soother and pop in my nipple. It works almost everytime.


answered 20 Dec '09, 17:22

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

She tried that pacifier thing, but he didn't buy it! =)

(20 Dec '09, 22:40) JJJ

Here's another trick that sometimes works: Using the side-lying position for breastfeeding, lay down with the baby so that his preferred breast is closest to the bed. Then, twist the upper body and lean over to offer the other breast. (I wish I had a diagram to demonstrate - it sounds harder than it is.) It is a little bit awkward, but sometimes I can get my son to take the breast he has been refusing this way. If your wife decides to try this, let me know if it works. Good luck! :)

(21 Dec '09, 01:01) cat_g

+1 Nice answer! and comment too!

(21 Dec '09, 09:44) Emi

I'm not sure of the solution to your problem, but as far as answering the literal question of the title... you could always taste them yourself.


answered 21 Dec '09, 01:05

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

+1 Good idea! It's just milk, after all.

(21 Dec '09, 01:25) cat_g

I did, but my palad found no difference... ultra sweet milk!

(11 Jan '10, 20:11) JJJ

Yes, the milk CAN taste different... but that may or may not be the reason for preference.

Our daughter prefers one side over the other because the milk comes easier out of one than the other.

That being said, it IS possible for the milk to taste different. When my daughter's mom started pumping we noticed the color was different (a little darker/browner) coming out of one.

The hospital said it was most likely blood from a broken capillary or something. The hospital also said that it was safe to drink of the baby would take it. Since she had lots of milk we opted to just throw it out and use the one side only (but still pump both).

The color cleared itself up after a few days and she drinks from both sides now... but she still favors one over the other (because its easier).

One "trick" the lactation nurse showed us was to move the baby into the "football" position... change breasts without changing the baby's orientation.

They're smart little devils (at least our daughter is) and she learned quickly that if she was laying on her right side milk was easy... when we tipped her onto her left side (ie. switch breasts) she'd barely suck then start making a fuss. When we did the trick the nurse showed us... kept her on her right side and just switched breasts... she actually TRIED instead of fussing.

One last thing... "sort of" related. I've read other places that eating lots of GARLIC can flavor the breast milk and that babies actually LIKE IT. I wasn't sure if this was an "old wives tail" or not so I asked our lactation nurse last time we were there. She confirmed that it is true... most babies tend to like the taste... and that garlic is good for you in general... so if you like garlic... knock yourself out. :-)

Hopefully some of this info helps!


answered 21 Dec '09, 17:36

KPW's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

I can't tell for certain, but it sounds improbable that the milk tastes different. However, the speed of which the milk is expressed and the quantity may very well differ, which might explain why some babies prefer one breast over the other. This was the case for us the first days at the hospital, but it slowly evened out over some weeks.


answered 21 Dec '09, 05:55

runaros's gravatar image

accept rate: 28%

edited 21 Dec '09, 09:42

Emi's gravatar image


+1 for speed and quantity.

(21 Dec '09, 09:42) Emi

The milk is made in the breast, as you feed (although a small amount is made in advance and stored there) Kellymom website has more detail. So it is perfectly probable that there may be differences in the flavour of the milk, due to the differences in the glands in your breasts. There will almost certainly be differences in the shape and size of the breast and nipple, which will also make a difference to the baby's preferences. Also, your arms are different (right or left handed) so how you hold the baby will differ.

A proportion of the fat in the milk is taken from your body's fat stores (I got that from the book Having Faith) but some is from what you've eaten recently, so flavours of your food do go in to the milk - hence breastfed babies generally being happier to try different flavours once they are starting solids (artificial-milk fed babies will have had only one flavour since birth and so are much more shocked by the introduction of other flavours).


answered 22 Dec '09, 10:05

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Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

edited 22 Dec '09, 15:28

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Asked: 20 Dec '09, 16:07

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Last updated: 22 Dec '09, 15:28