Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Celebrating the World Breastfeeding Week 2013 with a Clogged Duct.

Today is the last the of the World Breastfeeding Week 2013. I didn't even think about that 90 minutes ago when I realized the pain on my right breast was not going to go away on its own and Tiny Guy was going to sleep for the rest of the morning. The flag was raised. Clogged Duct.

I am a very fortunate mother that has had the blessing of nursing for quite a while. Little Guy was weaned at 2.5 years due to my advanced pregnancy and 3 months later Tiny Guy was out and around, and drinking lots of breastmilk. In all that almost 3.5 odyssey, only once had I had this problem before, that time I didn't know the name of it, the remedies or how long it would last.

I remember latching Little Guy and having him nurse to no avail, he would be satisfied and I would still feel as if he had not nursed at all. Plus, my breast did not look engorged, but felt like it. After a painful 2 hour non-sleep in the middle of the night, I did what every wife with a wonderful man should do: I called for help.

My husband got me up and threw me in the shower, gave me the head and asked me to point it to the breast. Whatever it was, it needed water and heat. Then he went and asked Mr Google what was going on with me. Eventually the symptoms gave him the answer.

Of course, he was on the right path with the shower, and I was too with the extracting. The problem is that Little Guy was almost 2 and only nursed in mornings and nights. I had to have him help me. Invited him to do it at every occasion, skipped lunch, cooked things that he doesn't like much, anyway, he nursed all day long.

I was fearful of mastitis, I always am. Thanks to it, my mom stopped breast feeding me after only 10 days, and the unfortunate chain of events that took of make my first year's survival a miracle. Clogged ducts need attention immediately to avoid an infection, and unless the pain is unbearable or the fever reaches a high point, it is better to stay home with the baby and hopefully somebody else (I have my disabled husband that painfully can take care of me sometimes)

Between the frequent nursing, manually extracting before the nursing and the heat applied, it was gone within a day. I've been a hard advocate for manual extraction ever since, I think that's why it only happened once with Little Guy (and now once with Tiny Guy).

2 hours ago, I got up, drank whatever was left from a water bottle (with Little Guy's help) and manually drained the breast. It was not much, maybe an ounce, but it did a huge difference. At least the pain is resting. 600 mg of Ibuprofen later, the fever is coming down and the shivers with it. I may be able to sleep for the next hour, with my milk bottle ready for another discharge and Tiny Guy ready for another feast.

Remember. If it happens to you, drain, nurse, drain, nurse. Drain before every feeding, hot showers, heat and pain killers will help getting you through the day.

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