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Thread: aching breast

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  1. #1

    aching breast

    Dearest fellow mum,

    I am breastfeeding my bub and she's 1 year and 2 months now. I wonder why my
    left breast is aching simultaneously. Just my left breast. It feel so sore and
    uncomfortable. Please help me. It's not everyday, but maybe three times a week.

    Thanks,


    havingaprincess

  2. #2
    Hi havingaprincess,

    I'm sorry to hear your breast is feeling uncomfortable. I wonder if I could ask a few more questions to try and get to the root of the problem. How long has it been aching? Does your daughter move around lots and play with your breasts whilst feeding or is this not an issue?

    If the breast is red and tender you could have Mastitis. This can be very painful, and results in a sore/red/swollen breast. Can you feel a lump as this is common with Mastitis? You may also have flu-like symtoms. If you think it could be Mastitis you should see your doctor straight away, who may prescribe antibiotics to help it clear up. You should keep feeding/expressing as it is caused by a build-up of milk.

    However, because you are not experiencing the symptoms every day I am not sure it is Mastitis. Does the pain get worse after feeding? This is the case with thrush.

    Please post back and let us know the answer to these questions so we can help you further. If you continue feeling the pain I would see your doctor.


    Best wishes,

    LJ

  3. #3
    Dearest lj,

    Thank you for the response. I have experienced this not so long ago but just recently. Yes, my
    bub moves around lots and play with my breast while I'm feeding. I haven't feel any lump and
    there's no redness also. I feel so relieve when expressing milk to her that I would love to do it
    even if she's full enough.

    havingaprincess

  4. #4
    Hi havingaprincess,

    When my son was about 14 months old he started eating more and subsequently my breasts would sometimes feel extremely full and painful (they felt a lot 'harder' at these times). I am wondering if this could be happening with your daughter - that your milk supply has not yet reduced in response to her eating more solids and so your breast is feeling uncomfortably full. This could happen more with one breast (the left breast in your case) if you breastfed your little one more from this side or have a favourite side to breastfeed on. Is this the case?

    If it is this, then your body will soon adapt and produce a bit less milk. You could continue to offer her the breast frequently to try and relieve this feeling.

    If you did develop any redness/lump/flu-like symptoms then I would see your doctor as soon as possible.

    It may also be a good idea to try and get your daughter to not play with your breasts whilst she is feeding. You could have another toy nearby for her to hold.

    Please do let me know if the discomfort settles.

    Does anyone else have any other ideas for havingaprincess?

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  5. #5
    My advice would pretty much be the same as LJ's. I am breastfeeding an 18 month old and I occasionally have pains in my breasts, but there is no rhyme or reason for it. My initial thought was that it was likely mastitis or plugged duct, but if there does not appear to be a lump it does not sound like that is the case. The only other thing is thrush, which can cause pains, though I am sure it would be more consistent. To test for thrush look for a patchy white rash on your nipple or in baby's mouth. Thrush tends to itch, it is a form of yeast infection. Otherwise, it sounds as though you may just be experiencing some extra fullness, pain from rough play or pumping. Let us know if you develop anymore symptoms or if the symptoms subside after trying the distraction techniques described by LJ.

  6. #6
    I noticed from some of your other posts that you've been experiencing increased stress recently. Often times when we experience a lot of stress or when we are preoccupied with things, breastfeeding is affected.

    My first guess is that you may be experiencing a plugged milk duct periodically throughout the week. This can be caused by not breastfeeding as often as you used to and it can also be caused by a compression of that particular part of the breast. If you're squeezing your breast or if baby's body is squeezing part of a breast, this can cause a milk duct to become plugged.

    If you're not breastfeeding as often as usual, this, too, can cause a milk duct to become plugged.

    In my 12 years of breastfeeding I've had plenty of achy, sore spots on my breasts without feeling a lump or seeing a red spot and without fever. However, I knew it was likely a plugged milk duct that was causing the discomfort and I would quickly work to remedy it.

    If it feels really good to empty the breast, then I would encourage you to breastfeed your toddler more often right now, even if that means she doesn't get other foods. It's perfectly okay for her to go a week just on breastmilk (at 14 months of age) if you need her to stimulate the breast and help unplug that milk duct.

    I would also encourage you to put her to the breast in different positions. The football hold can be more difficult with a larger child (14 months) but it is possible. If you put her to the breast in a variety of positions this will also help to empty out the milk duct because it will be stimulated more.

    You can also run warm water on the breast (this is easiest in the shower or bath) and then express milk in an effort to empty the milk duct, but baby's stimulation will work best. There's also a product called a breast soother which can be warn in your bra and delivers heat to the breast. It is recommended that the warmth be applied for a minimum of 7 minutes. And if you happen to have a breast pump on hand, you can also use that to help stimulate milk flow, but again, baby's stimulation will be best.

    If there's any indication of thrush, I would encourage you to cut back on all sugar and even on fruit right now, because sugars feed yeast (thrush).

    Please post back and let us know if you're seeing any white coating in baby's mouth or on your nipple area (the white coating is different than a milk coating) or if you think it may just be a plugged milk duct.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

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