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Thread: Sore nipple, rock hard boobs :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Default Sore nipple, rock hard boobs :(

    My little boy will be 12 weeks tomorrow. Breastfeeding has been going great!! I had to have hernia removal surgery last monday and of course I had to pump so my baby could eat while I was in surgery. I pumped 4 bottles with a hand held manual pump. Anyway, a few days ago I started to notice my boobs getting extremely rock hard on the sides and they are sooooo painful. And then, one of my nipples actually started to hurt VERY bad whenever my baby would nurse on it. Yesterday I noticed a white speck at the tip of the nipple. I "googled" it online and I read something about a "bleb" blister.... Anyway, I wanted to get advice as to what this all could be. Is this a sign of oversupply cuz of the pumping I did once?? Is it engorged breasts? Plugged ducts?? Masitis?? Also, my baby is starting to get extemely fussy when he nurses on that boob. Does this mean its not coming out right??? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Sore nipple, rock hard boobs :(

    I think the hardness sounds like plugged ducts. I've had a few and they hurt but after some of the stories I read about them i sat up and massaged the heck out of them with the heat pad and hand expressed the plugs. I could get a fountain going for like 30 sec. My boobs were sore after for a few days from the massage but it kept me from getting mastitis. Rest also helped a lot my DH was petty understanding and would get up with DS even on work nights so I could sleep. As far as the white stuff... Thrush??? I've not had it but since you had surgery your immune system was under stress and that can make fending off thrush harder to do.

    I used this for the plugged ducts http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/mastitis.html and call your doc about the other. From what I understand a bleb shouldn't hurt.
    Married to the best husband ever since Nov 2009
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  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Sore nipple, rock hard boobs :(

    1 day of pumping with a manual pump shouldn't send your body into overdrive in the supply department. What you describe sounds very much like plugged ducts and a bleb— often you start out with a bleb and the milk backs up behind it. And when milk flow is impeded, babies can get very fussy. Strategies for dealing with a bleb:
    - moisture- soak the breast in warm water to soften the skin of the bleb
    - massage- try pushing the milk out by massaging with your hand while you nurse
    - keep a cotton ball moistened with olive oil in your nursing bra over your nipple to soften the skin
    - pick at the bleb with your fingernail
    - sterile needle- flame a needle until it glows red. When it cools, pick gently at the skin of the bleb until it breaks and you can express milk from the area. Many moms the they should have a doctor do this for them, but I heartily disagree. You can feel when you have gone too far with the needle. A doctor can't.

    When you have a bad case of plugged ducts, you want to stay alert for signs of mastitis. You know a plug is turning into mastitis if you see all or some of the following:
    - red streaks or patches on the skin of the breast
    - flu-like feelings (fever, chills, malaise, aches and pains)
    - yucky discharge from the 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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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sore nipple, rock hard boobs :(

    Thank u all for ur replies! Very helpful :-) Unfortunately last night I was up the whole night with a horrible burning pain in my right breast! I couldn't fall asleep that's how intense the burning was. I could feel lumps. It felt like I dipped my boob in fire!!! :-( I finally got in the shower and tried to massage it. I also tried to break the blister. I was unsuccessful and just scared that it would hurt once I broke the blister. I have fed my baby since on that boob and notice some relief. It's still not back to normal though.

    Also just to clarify, I did pump more than one day. I started on a Friday and just pumped one bottle a night while my baby was asleep. I did that for 4 days so there would be 4 bottles the day I went into surgery. That's why I'm wondering if these symptoms I'm having are a cause of oversupply.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sore nipple, rock hard boobs :(

    I had this situation a few days ago - it lasted 2 days before I could figure out a solution. I, too, am breastfeeding in the morning and pumping at night. I ended up with sore sore nipples (felt like my skin was torn off) and rock hard boobs.

    I assume the rock hard boobs is because of engorgement (the breast hurt too much to let the baby latch on for long periods of time and pumping felt like needles were pricking me). I would lay a warm towel over the breast and gently massage before a feeding.

    To get rid of the sore nipples (and burning sensation), I ended up getting smaller horn sizes for my pump. Literally within a day, the burning pain went away and I was able to pump and feed the baby. Try checking to see if your pump is too big or too small for your breast - it's possible your skin is so irritated it's hurting you.
    Proud of Baby

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sore nipple, rock hard boobs :(

    To me, this sounds like oversupply, with a side of plugs too, and you might have simply responded very well to the pump. Now that you are home...just nurse, and it will improve. Sounds like it is on the mend. Plugs always bother me for a few days afterwards.
    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
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    Default Re: Sore nipple, rock hard boobs :(

    Knock on wood, I haven't had any plugged ducts so far with baby #3. But with #1 and #2, I got them a lot. All. The. Time. Part of the reason why I quit BFing so soon. I would always stand in a hot shower, massage the side that had the plugged ducts, and use my fingernail to clear the little white blister. As soon as I got it, the milk would spray like a fire hose! And the pain was instantly gone. You'll know it's mastitis if you get a fever, aches, chills, etc.

    Are you wearing a nursing bra with underwires? I swear, those were the cause of my blocked ducts before. I'm wearing wire free bras this time, and it's been over 7 weeks and no blocked ducts!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sore nipple, rock hard boobs :(

    Thank you everyone for your replies! I think it has finally cleared up. I think it was oversupply and plugged ducts. I'm definitely feeling better now and the blister is gone! YAY! I pray I never get that again. Thanks again everyone for your helpful comments

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