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  1. #1
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    Default Painful breast

    Is it possible to have a painful breast without it being mastitis?

    I've battled with blocked ducts since I started breastfeeding 4 months ago. The lumps usually take 3-4 feeds (sometimes more) to clear and are usually back within a couple of hours, and no matter how hard and often I massage they just don't want to clear

    But the last 3 nights DS has slept from his last feed (6PMish) to around 5AM so now my breast isn't getting that extra feed at 1AM to clear the ducts... Is it just my breast getting used to one less feed or am I developing mastitis? Ever since I woke up this morning it's been so painful

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    Default Painful breast

    Now the other side hurts during feeding??

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    Default Painful breast

    Still blocked I have a very low supply (DS usually has a full bottle of formula afterwards) so after about 5 minutes, sometimes less he starts to fuss and scream because the flow isn't as fast as it was when he started, there's not much milk etc so when he keeps pulling off (I usually put him back on at least 3 times) I'll try express into his mouth as much as I can until he's had enough and then I switch sides. I've tried feeding often but he just gets too worked up when there's nothing there.

    The pain has gone away but the lumps are still there. I went to my GP to double check that they were blocked ducts and not something else and she confirmed they were. The last LC I went to charged me $50 for half an hour and I still walked away with a poor latching baby

    I really don't know what else to do!
    Last edited by callmedragon22; 14-02-2013 at 10:13.

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    Default Painful breast

    Oh, I've been mixed feeding since DS was 6 weeks old. He lost over 10% in hospital so I had to top him up with formula on my second last day in hospital so he could gain some weight. I then spent the next 3 weeks on motillium, fenugreek & blessed thistle, I hired a hospital grade pump and pumped whenever he was having a top up bottle and also an hour after every feed, then when he was 4 weeks old I felt I had built up a good supply and exclusively breastfed him. Wow did I have an unhappy baby he was feeding every 2 hours for an hour at a time, not sleeping, constantly cranky and at his 6 week check up he was back to his birth weight (lost over 400gm).

    Sorry for the long story but yeah, I've tried everything I can possibly think of to build up my supply enough to be able to exclusively breastfeed but so far nothing has worked! If you have any tips I'd love to hear them

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    Default Painful breast

    I am definitely no expert at all but sounds like you maybe having an issue as bubs is only drinking the foremilk and not the hind milk. This can cause lumps, pain and mastitis.

    I would suggest if you have a pump (or by hand if you have to!) emptying each breast after feeding. Try to absolutely drain them. This will hopefully drain the hind milk (and you can keep it for bottles if the latching problems continue) and will also promote an increase in supply.

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    Missie mack as usual you are a wealth of information, and it doesn't sound like you have had an easy time if bfing yourself.

    callmedragon, regarding the lc have you tried your local child health clinic? While I am not overly happy with the nurses I have seen of late, in the early days I was lucky enough to end up seeing their lc who as great. It is free and you should be able to ring and make an appointment with them.

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    Default Painful breast

    Quote Originally Posted by missie_mack View Post
    I feel your pain. My experience with my first was very similar I know in my case I was given some really really poor advice. Sometimes babies lose a greater percentage of birth weight not because of the lack of supply but because there were IVs used during birth or even not weighing them on different scales (trying weighing yourself on two different sets of digital scales and you will be astounded how many grams you can put on or lose within moments), then once I started comping (which my hospital demanded and threatened to discharge me without my baby) I found he went longer between feeds, which meant over a whole day I gave out less breastmilk... and it became a vicious cycle until at 8 weeks DS refused the breast altogether. He preferred the bottle and who could blame him. It was easier work, uses different muscles and was on demand.

    Once a comp has been introduced it is best to reduce it gradually, 10mls a day every 3-4 days- with FTT you weigh them every time you are about to reduce the comp, if they haven't lost weight you drop it. If they have lost weight you go up 5mls and go another couple of days. It can be a really long process but it gets there, often it significantly improves once solids are introduced. Breast compressions whilst feeding has been found successful at reducing the need to comp, it will also help significantly with the blocked ducts. You may find your DS is getting cranky on the breast because the let down isn't as fast as what he is getting out of the bottle- this is part of the reason I used a supply line for feeds with my second (as well as the SNS helping to boost supply and keep the breast association up for feeding) I eventually got down to only giving a comp of 30mls before giving the comp away altogether and even when I did comp I would only give 30ml increments and then offer the breast again...

    Meanwhile you need to work on these lumps, they would be affecting your supply. Any white spots or blisters on your nipple? Have you used the back of an electric toothbrush to help with the lumps? I generally recommend using them in the shower as the heat can help with the movement, I've only experienced blocked ducts twice with my second child (although lots when I had my first) and I have used my knuckles like a comb and racked the sides of my breast. It isn't for the faint hearted though...

    In the early days when my DD was labelled failure to thrive and I was poorly advised that my breast was 'dry' (which is a misconception) and this was the cause I was told to feed her a litre of formula a day. I never did. I feed hourly and often and when DD refused to feed or was sleeping I pumped and did compressions. Once a day I would do a super pump- pumping for 5 minutes each side, resting for 5minutes and repeating for a whole hour. I wasn't able to offer exclusive breastmilk for quite a long time (I have had breast surgery) but I did get there. It was hard work and I would never have gotten there if I hadn't found some great advice/support, which is part of the reason I have made the effort to gain qualifications in this field myself. Incidently I have been taking motillium now for nearly 18 months, if you find it boosts your supply and it dwindles when you wean off it (never stop abuptly), don't wean off it!

    Meanwhile I have probably jumped all over the place here but feed feed feed feed, reduce the comp and never increase your nipple flow on your bottles, use the ones for newborns only. If you are really determined to win this battle you can!
    Thank you soooo so much for all of this, definitely going to give it a go! I'm not ready to give up just yet

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    Default Painful breast

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnab739 View Post
    Missie mack as usual you are a wealth of information, and it doesn't sound like you have had an easy time if bfing yourself.

    callmedragon, regarding the lc have you tried your local child health clinic? While I am not overly happy with the nurses I have seen of late, in the early days I was lucky enough to end up seeing their lc who as great. It is free and you should be able to ring and make an appointment with them.
    I haven't, I didn't even think about them having a lc... I'll definitely look into it, thanks


 

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