Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding: What To Do If You Have A Blockage

I first started breastfeeding when Aurora was a baby and I didn’t encounter any problems – it went quite smoothly and it was a great feeling knowing she was gaining weight and I was doing it properly. I breastfed Aurora until she was 14 months old which was when my milk dried up due to my pregnancy with Kiiara.

When Kiki was born I made assumptions that because breastfeeding Aurora went so well, I wouldn’t have any problems breastfeeding Kiiara either. So far so good, until the other day…

Kiiara slept better than she usually does and didn’t wake up for her usual feed through the night (more sleep for me, yippee!) so as you could imagine my breast was quite full (this has happened previously but feeding her would usually ease it). The other day I wasn’t myself. It was completely different than what I was contemplating. I woke in agony thinking it would dissipate once I had fed her.

Boy was I wrong! It just stopped working (nothing was coming out no matter how hard I tried). It felt like I had a boulder strapped to my chest and the pain was intense.

I started panicking – I really didn’t know what to do. This had never happened before. I contacted Liams sister for advice (she has breastfed her kids and been in a similar situation in the past), and I even googled it.

‘Mastitis’ came up. Ouch. Luckily enough it hadn’t progressed that far, but if I didn’t get it sorted, that’s what it could have become.


Advice On What To Do

On Google, I found quite a few answers to help me out. I’ve summarised the most common methods of relieving it below.

  • Hot Flannels
  • Hot Shower
  • Massage
  • Attempt a feed with baby
  • Use a breast pump

I tried every single one of these methods, and not one of them worked. It honestly felt like my breast was a balloon on the cusp of bursting (my partner stood to the side of me to avoid the splash zone in case it did). I even considered dropping on all fours and getting my partner to milk me like a cow!

I didn’t know how to resolve this problem. Took me a good couple of hours trying to get my breast to work. As I sat in tears because of my pain and frustration, Liam suggested using a hot water bottle. I would have tried anything just to ease the discomfort at that time.

It actually WORKED! Feeding Kiiara helped relieve it too alongside the hot water bottle being pressed against my blocked ducts. It was ever so uncomfortable even to now. Considering breastfeeding is a natural process, I didn’t think many problems could arise from missing a regular feed.

I may have enjoyed the extra sleep, but I certainly don’t think it’s worth the pain of a blocked duct and engorgement.

My older children made me feel ever so disconcerted when Wyatt informed his granddad about my sore ‘boobies’ as he put it. It made me flush, but I had to laugh too!

 

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