Q&A: one breast stops producing milk

Anonymous writes:

"Have you ever heard of anyone who was breastfeeding have half of abreast stop producing milk?  I have had major issues with a clogged nipple duct for over 3 weeks now, I have talked to a ton of lactation consultants and have done every thing I could to get the duct to open, and I thought I had done it -- but yesterday I just could not get it open and then today -- I think half of it stopped working.  When I have let down I only feel it on half of the breast.

Anyhow, I was just wondering. My baby is growing like crazy, so I'm not really worried about it impacting him, but I worry about overall breast health for me."

Yes, I sure have heard of this. It never happen to me personally, but I've known enough women who've had this problem to know that it just seems to be one of those things sometimes. If you have enough supply in general, your other breast should pick up the slack. We talked about this awhile ago, although the writer wrote in that her breast just stopped producing, without any precipitating duct issues. It seemed that the biggest problem women experienced was that the breast they still nursed from was bigger than the one that stopped producing milk. Commenters seemed to be about half and half with the breasts going back to the same size after weaning. (But many women don't have breasts that are the same size anyway, so it's not necessarily a nursing-related issue, although nursing probably exacerbates it.)

I have a question, since some of those initial commenters may have had another baby by now: Did that breast produce milk if you nursed another baby? Or was that breast out of business forever once it stopped in the first place?

Comments of support for Anon, tales of one-boobed nursing, any side effects, what happened to your breasts after you weaned, and a prognosis for future nursing from that breast are all welcome.