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Thread: Is this oversupply? Or am I the only person in the world?

  1. #1

    Default Is this oversupply? Or am I the only person in the world?

    I am feeling like the only person in the world with this problem right now -
    I have seen a Doctor, I have seen a Lactation consultant, and neither have given me a good answer to what this is

    This ONLY concerns one breast.

    A bit of history - My baby was a preemie, he was in NICU for 4ish weeks, I pumped during that time, and it took me about a week to wean him from bottle, to shield, to breast - In this time I pumped less

    my left breast is ABSOLUTELY fine, - (Sorry to get into detail but i am to the point where I have to be simply as black and white as possible to find any kind of diagnosis I am sick of doctors because they can't figure it out)

    My WELL breast is fine, the areola is soft, my entire breast is kinda squishy, and will harden a little when it's full,

    my NOT well breast is a mess- it's huge (noticeably bigger than the well breast) the Areola is like gel - I mean GEL - I mean I can actually mold it into something if I feel like it - if I had the guts to post a picture I would because my husband didn't believe me until I showed him, it'll mold to any shape (for example if I put a cabbage leaf in that bra within a minute it'll have a perfect imprint of the cabbage leaf)

    The nipple is swollen to the size of a quarter, it's sore, and the top of it is white (not a blister, like, "oh my lord I am being stretched to the point the color is going" kind of white)

    I cannot nurse on this breast AT ALL - not only can the nipple not even fit in my preemies mouth it's impossible to suck on it because the nipple is just some solid rock like thing that wont be nursed on (my poor pump has hell of a time extracting any milk)

    This is what I have tried

    Lecithin (LC thought it was clogged ducts) - Didn't help
    Hot/Cold compression
    Pumping less to reduce milk supply (I pump every 3-4hours and I only allow up to 4ozs max release, I don't massage the breast to encourage more milk, I simply hold the pump there and let it pull out the 'free' milk as it were - I pump for a max of 10minutes to try and lower the supply without destroying it, and to keep it from being more swollen)
    Cabbage leaf in the affected breast
    I am ALSO on antibiotics because my OB wants me to have them "in case it turns into masititis" - I have 2 days left on that 7day supply
    I also take Advil for pain and anti inflammatory

    Please lord tell me someone has had this problem and tell me the cure! I breastfed my last baby for 18months and had NO problems - it's almost sickening to know I have a great supply but I cant' even use it - I have to toss all the milk I pump because i just weaned my preemie from bottle to breast and I don't want him to revert back - I am nursing him all on the one breast whilst the other is MIA - PLEASE help me
    Last edited by @llli*envyninja; February 19th, 2013 at 12:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: Is this oversupply? Or am I the only person in the world

    I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you, I read this post yesterday and was looking today to see if someone had an answer. Since no one has replied, I'm bumping it for you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Is this oversupply? Or am I the only person in the world

    Was the lactation consultant that you saw a board certified lactation consultant?
    Was your doctor a specialist I'm wondering if you need to see someone who is a glandular specialist or something
    One breast being engorged for overfull or much larger than the other is fairly common.
    But the consistency of your breast and areola does not really fit. Does your breast hurt? Are you able to express milk with a pump?
    My only thought as a layperson is that maybe this has something to do with your pump. Pumps can do kind of weird things to breasts sometimes although I've never heard of anything quite like this. Could you possibly hand express instead for a day or two and see if there is any improvement?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Is this oversupply? Or am I the only person in the world

    By the way the reason I suspect the pump is because of the consistency of your areola and your nipple. I am thinking that fluid is being pulled into your areola by the action of the pump. Nursing would not do this neither would hand expression. Pumping can also cause nipple damage and soreness, especially if the flange is ill fitting.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is this oversupply? Or am I the only person in the world

    My breast never hurts, it just feels large, I have had on occasion the nipple hurting but that usually just means time to pump milk nothing major.

    My OBGYN - I don't know if he is a specialist, but when I mentioned to my LC about it (she worked at the hospital I gave birth in) she said to see him, she really seemed to brush off my issues and just kept saying "it'll go away"

    my OB didn't even notice there was anything wrong with my breast until I showed him the other one.

    I have noticed after pumping if I then hand express around the Areola the 'gel' like feeling goes away - I have also noticed that the gel like area (when there) will make that part of my breast completely numb, - the thing is I can keep making the breast feel normal, but within a few hours (when milk replenishes) it goes right back to being messed up,

    When the 'gel' like feeling comes in it actually almost swallows up the nipple and brings it in - which makes it impossible to nurse on or latch with (again I do have a preemie baby so I can't expect him to do lots of work, I need him to use his strength to gain weight and eat not fix this issue for me)
    Last edited by @llli*envyninja; February 22nd, 2013 at 09:07 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Is this oversupply? Or am I the only person in the world

    Well it really sounds to me as if you have swelling and/or edema (fluid retention) in your areola. I don't think milk production-even over production-alone would cause this. Maybe your breast getting full brings it on, but this is not a typical reaction to a full breast.

    This is interfering with your ability to nurse your child as your baby can not latch on the swollen breast. That alone makes this situation a potentially serious health concern even outside of wanting to make sure all is ok and there is not some underlying issue that might be affecting YOUR health.

    The fact that an LC is employed by a hospital does NOT neccesarily make her a an IBCLC. And even if she is, most hospital employed LCs are under extreme time constraints.

    I suggest, look into your local options for seeing a IBCLC (International Board Certified lactation Consultant) privately, or through your local health servies (maybe WIC?) or through your hospital but for a real appointment, which should last about 60-90 minutes as a minimum. You may be able to get names from your local LLL, local Breastfeeding Coalition, or local Breastfeeding USA chapter (in some parts of the US)

    You cna also look them up on this website www.ilca.org

    If you are hiring a private practice IBCLC, call as many as you realistically could see ahead of time and describe your situation and ask them if they think they can help. You can also explore costs at this point. Out of pocket for seeing an IBCLC for a complete evaluation in the US can range from as low as $50.00 to to as much as $300.00, but somewhere between $100 and $150 is the norm as far as I have seen.

    The reason I want you to see an IBCLC if possible is I am afraid a non-breastfeeding supportive doctor might tell you to wean, which I highly doubt is neccesary. Your IBCLC should not only be able to direct you to a medical specialist if needed, they also may belong to a network of other IBCLC's who they can consult on unusual cases. Ask your IBCLC is she belongs to LactNet or any other LC network. Also an IBCLC may help you find ways to latch baby to the problematic breast, so you can start to nurse on that side as well, which may help this issue and may also make your life easier.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Salt Lake City

    Default Re: Is this oversupply? Or am I the only person in the world

    Did you ever resolve this issue? I recently discovered that I have an oversupply and when my breasts are really full I get that gel-like sensation on the nipple. I honestly thought it was normal. So I'd love to know how this was resolved, if it was. Or if anyone else has insight.

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