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Thread: Weaning my 5wk old due to armpit pain

  1. #1

    Default Weaning my 5wk old due to armpit pain

    Ladies I need your help, duirng my pregnancy I developed a small lump in/near my right armpit. It was tender off and on, then when my milk came in, it became more painful. My baby boy is now 5 wks old and it's still there and tender. My OB said that it's breast tissue and that basically it's up to me but weaning would be my only relief becuase eveything would go back down. I spoke with my regular physician and she wants to do an ultrasound of the area (very nervous about this). I hope that my OB is right and it's just breast tissue. I'm torn on whether or not I should wean if it is just breast tissue but dealing with the pain an entire year or more doesnt make sense either. Has anyone had any similar experiences and can offer advice.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Weaning my 5wk old due to armpit pai

    Hi!

    I had an extremely painful lump under my right armpit during the first weeks. I exclusively express for my LO and it turned out to be a very blocked duct. Is your doctor sure it's breast tissue? I treated mine with heat packs and gentle circular massage of the area before expressing and the lump dissapeared within a week. It was so sore that I couldn't hold the baby on that side!
    If it definitely isn't a blocked duct, perhaps an ultrasound is the way to go? It would be a shame to wean so early if it turned out it is treatable and you could have continued breast feeding.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Weaning my 5wk old due to armpit pai

    What causes you to be nervous about an ultrasound?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Weaning my 5wk old due to armpit pai

    It doesn't sound like your doctors are giving you good information. I agree with your ob that what you are feeling is probably breast tissue, in all likelihood the Tail of Spence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tail_of_Spence. But he/she is wrong to suggest that weaning in the only way you will get relief. At just 5 weeks postpartum, it is quite likely that you are overproducing milk, and if you are overproducing in the Tail area, that would explain the tenderness quite nicely. Most moms start out making more milk than their babies need- it's nature's way of ensuring that a baby gets fed as he masters the art of nursing. But over time, your milk supply should adjust to meet your baby's needs very precisely, without a lot of extra milk left over. As that happens, I am willing to bet that the tenderness you're feeling with diminish or disappear.

    I think your regular physician is probably concerned for no reason- again, this is probably just the Tail of Spence. But I wouldn't fear an ultrasound, either, provided that the person who is going to interpret the ultrasound is familiar with the appearance of a lactating breast!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Weaning my 5wk old due to armpit pai

    I'm sorry you're going through this. The newborn period is so hard without having to deal with personal health issues, as well. Let's hope it is just breast tissue and nothing more serious.

    I developed a huge breast abscess when DD was 2 months old due to her persistently taking my left breast poorly, and me not managing the problem well. It needed to be surgically drained and the incision was on the areola. I couldn't get DD to take the breast while the bandages (and open incision) were there. Because she also took that breast so poorly before the procedure and caused a lot of nipple damage and pain, I made the decision to wean her off of that breast only. She has nursed exclusively off of one breast for 9 months now with no end in sight and has always gotten every drop of milk she needs.

    Every woman is different, of course. This may be a solution that works for you, it may not be. I would think that at least keeping one breast lactating and nourishing your child is superior to completely weaning her. But hopefully, it won't come to this. Let us know how it turns out!
    -Hannah

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Weaning my 5wk old due to armpit pai

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    It doesn't sound like your doctors are giving you good information. I agree with your ob that what you are feeling is probably breast tissue, in all likelihood the Tail of Spence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tail_of_Spence. But he/she is wrong to suggest that weaning in the only way you will get relief. At just 5 weeks postpartum, it is quite likely that you are overproducing milk, and if you are overproducing in the Tail area, that would explain the tenderness quite nicely. Most moms start out making more milk than their babies need- it's nature's way of ensuring that a baby gets fed as he masters the art of nursing. But over time, your milk supply should adjust to meet your baby's needs very precisely, without a lot of extra milk left over. As that happens, I am willing to bet that the tenderness you're feeling with diminish or disappear.

    I think your regular physician is probably concerned for no reason- again, this is probably just the Tail of Spence. But I wouldn't fear an ultrasound, either, provided that the person who is going to interpret the ultrasound is familiar with the appearance of a lactating breast!
    Completely agree.

    I had this. It appeared near the end of my pregnancy, and I'd say it was probably gone by about 3 months PP (just a guess, but it wasn't around for too long). It wasn't terribly sore for that long though - the size and tenderness diminished greatly over time, and as my supply dropped slighly.

    Hang in there mama, I totally disagree that weaning is your only option.
    Mommy to L - May 7, 07' , B - February 7, 09' , and R - August 18, 12'

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Weaning my 5wk old due to armpit pai

    At my follow up appt I asked my ob about a "lump" in my armpit that was sore. She told me that it had to do with the milk production, just as the PP's have stated. She told me that as long as I massage the area and treat it with ice/heat it should go away on it's own, worst case scenario is that it has to be drained. She said that with her child she remembers walking around like a gorilla because it was so painful for her to put her arms down.
    Braeden will be 12 weeks this week and my lump has been gone for quite some time. Not sure why your doctor is suggesting weaning?
    **Joleen**
    mommy to Lil T (8/2/04), D (10/4/09) and Baby B (6/2/11) YES, all boys
    still learning about all this

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Weaning my 5wk old due to armpit pai

    Same thing happened to me...I massaged it and ran hot water over it every time I showered, and it was gone in a couple of days. Now even if I'm full, it doesn't return. Hope you feel better, mama! Keep up the good work!
    There are three reasons for breast-feeding: the milk is always at the right temperature; it comes in attractive containers; and the cat can't get it. ~Irena Chalmers

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Weaning my 5wk old due to armpit pai

    Tail of Spence. The pain will go away. Don't wean just because of this!

    ETA: I had this happen with my second baby, again with my third, and really bad with my fourth. Nobody ever once suggested weaning....I think your OB is right that it's breast tissue, but your regular doc is overreacting, and both are wrong that you need to wean. And weaning won't make it all go away...I have had lumps there ever since they first popped up! But the pain goes away once your supply evens out.

    BTW, bad things, like breast cancer (which may be what they are freaking out about) are generally non-painful. But weaning may lead to mastitis in that area, which will hurt and can make you really sick. It needs to just drain, and once your supply is even, it won't hurt any longer.
    Last edited by @llli*aprilsmagic; August 23rd, 2011 at 09:02 AM.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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