I am nursing my 7 week old baby girl from one breast because I have had so much trouble with the other (4 bouts of mastitis and thrush on that side) that it hurt too much to nurse. I haven't effectively nursed her off that side in probably two weeks. She REFUSES that side, probably due to engorgement, but I can't get any more than a few drops to come out, ever. I have hand-expressed and used the Lanisoh manual pump (the one everyone raves about), and it makes no difference....the milk will only form tiny beads on the surface of my nipple.
The other side lets down fine when shes nursing, but the affected breast doesn't do a thing. I've stood in the shower, soaked it in warm to hot water, applied cabbage leaves, applied ice packs (reduces swelling in a minor way, but as soon as the breast warms back up, it's hard as a rock again), tried basically forcing her to nurse, tried a nipple shield....nothing. This used to be my most dominant side in terms of powerful let-down, etc. but now it's totally unusable.
I went and saw a LC and she wanted me to do cabbage leaves for 20 mins, followed by ice for 20 mins, then stand in the shower with warm water hitting my back only (not the breasts), then pumping. Still nothing beyond a few drops. In fact, attempting to pump makes it WORSE because it stimulates the breast and I feel it getting fuller afterwards, but the milk has NOWHERE TO GO and will not come out. The LC theorized that I'm so engorged that "it's like stepping on a hose" and it restricts the milk ducts from being able to release.
I have GOT to get some relief and nothing seems to really help me. I'm in so much pain. Nursing has been a nightmare for me overall and I'm having a hard time getting effective support....can anyone offer advice? Why is it so hard to get my milk out? I can't even get my areola acceptably soft. I can't even sleep right now.