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Thread: Nerve damage, need advice (long, sorry)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    16

    Default Nerve damage, need advice (long, sorry)

    Hi! I have a difficult situation that needs advice from experienced people. My husband and I are planning to have another baby soon, and I want to BF, but have lots of problems. 8 years ago, I was in a car accident when I was 3 days postpartum, My milk had come in the night before the accident, and I was pumping due to my daughter being in the NICU. My right breast was internally split in half, and I have had 2 reconstructive surgeries on it, one being a scar revision and the other being another revision with a fat graph placed. I did continue to pump for 2 weeks after the accident, and was able to produce some milk, although I don't remember how much. I have a semicircular cut from the second surgery around my areola,and there is a scar band in the left side of my breast that is very large, I can actually pick it up within my breast using my fingers.I worry that this will make a proper latch on impossible. I had an abcess rupture onthe underside of my left breast, and while packing was being placed in the wound to heal it, the nurse ran out of packing and put fresh in on top. In short, the old packing traveled through the right side of my breast and came out in between my breasts 6 weeks later. Both breasts are numb, each halfway towards the center of my chest. I am draining some whitish clear fluid out of the right breast, (just started recently although the accident was 8 years ago) so that makes me think that maybe breastfeeding could be possible. I am an RN, and even attended a breastfeeding advisor and educator class, but I have yet to encounter a case like my own. Of course the main question is will I be able to BF, but I am also curious as to how my let down reflex may be affected. ANY advice would be great

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Nerve damage, need advice (long, sor

    I don't really have any words of wisdom, but I wanted to say I'm so sorry this happened to you Don't give up trying!! Perhaps you can discuss with a LC or OBGYN? I'm thinking that you pumped for two weeks after the accident, makes me think you may be able to still produce. Good luck! I hope you find the answers you are looking for
    First baby Thanos Liam born on 12/20/2009... we are and since birth and still going strong!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    1,293

    Default Re: Nerve damage, need advice (long, sor

    Hi mama! i am so sorry to hear you had that experience, and right after you had the baby. that mus have been traumatic.

    i think you will only really know when you try. if it were me i would prepare as much as i could, and it seems like you are doing that by coming here. I would get in touch with an IBCLC now so that she knows your situation and you can feel reassured that you can contact her right when the baby arrives.

    you will need to keep and eye on the diapers like all nursing moms, but if you have nerve damage you may want to keep an even closer eye on the latch since you may not be able to feel it being off. maybe a scale would be good too to see how many oz the baby is getting once your milk comes in. the IBCLC can help you with all this.

    get the womanly art of breastfeeding, read up here and on the kellymom website, and watch some videos:
    http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=videos

    for any mom preparing to nurse i would recommend doing these things mama. i would also suggest getting a nice rocking chair or glider, boppy, etc.

    let us know when the baby arrives how excitiing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,819

    Default Re: Nerve damage, need advice (long, sor

    Good advice from the PPs. With such significant trauma to the breast, you could certainly run into problems. Or not. It's really hard to say because until you have the baby at the breast, you just can't predict what is going to happen. I am that a really good LC and careful monitoring of your baby's diapers will tell you whether or not things are going as they should.

    You might find additional help on this site: http://bfar.org/
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Nerve damage, need advice (long, sor

    great website mommal

  6. #6
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    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Nerve damage, need advice (long, sor

    I had two surgeries on my right breast when I was in my early twenties, and the doctor totally botched them both. He cut the ducts, and while the lateral half of my breast will fill with milk, it cannot come out. I do not ever feel a letdown on that side, which makes me wonder about the nerves at this point, I have an OALD on the left but never on the right, and my supply on that side is about 1/3 of what it is on the other side. He made an incision around the areola, and somehow, all three of the babies I nursed have managed to latch on despite the scar tissue.

    I'd say all you can do is try. You do the best with what you can. The leaking of fluid I would think would be positive!
    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!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: Nerve damage, need advice (long, sor

    with PPS, and I'm so sorry that you had to go through that! Another thought is that, to some extent, milk ducts can heal themselves and regrow. They actually grow a lot during pregnancy, which is why your breasts are so sore when you're pregnant. Obviously, some types of damage will never heal, but some damage can. So you won't know until you try, basically. Meanwhile, you can make enough milk for a baby with just one breast. Many of us have more or less significant differences in supply between breasts, but your body works so that overall, you make enough. If both breasts are damaged by surgery or injury, this will not hold as true, of course, but it's a good thing to remember as you embark on this journey.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Nerve damage, need advice (long, sor

    Thank you all for the support and advice. I keep thinking that since I'm ok on one half of each breast, that maybe I'll be able to produce enough. We shall see. I vaguely remember producing a lot of milk during the short time after it came in from the accident. I only have about 24 hours to make an assumption off of, but hopefully since I was able to produce a lot before and was only able to use a pump, hopefully everything will work out well when I can actually put the baby to breast. Again, thank you all, it's nice to have people to chat with about this.

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