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Thread: Lump in my breast

  1. #1
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    Default Lump in my breast

    My LO is 8 weeks and have been breastfeeding on schedule/on demand. It's every 2 or 3 hours depending on her. She is been sleeping 8 hours through the night for the past 2-3 weeks, and usually after 8 hrs my breast feels quite engorged but as soon as I feed her, goes back to normal. Although this morning on her 4am feed I noticed my left breast not only engorged but with a lump that didn't go away after the feed. I put a warm compress and pump for 5 minutes, but was still there, so I took a warm shower and was still there. Through the day I've been putting warm compresses before each feed and massage, and also manually extracting some milk. The breast feels emptier after the feed and this process but the lump is still there, and if I touch it is painful. Although is not red and I don't have a fever.
    I also fed her twice before her schedule 3 hour feed as a snack, but nothing...
    What should I do? Is what I'm doing enough? does it take longer to go away? I don't want it to turn into a mastitis!!!

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Lump in my breast

    Sounds like a plugged duct. Treatment options here: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/mastitis/

    You definitely want to stay alert for symptoms of mastitis (redness, increased pain, flulike sensations, aches and pains, fever, chills). If you see any or many of those, time to see the doctor.

    Wen you say you're nursing "on schedule/on demand", what does that mean exactly?
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lump in my breast

    I do think it was a plugged duct, and actually I've been having a milk bleb in that breast's nipple for about 3 weeks, so maybe it had to do with that. Although I spent the entire day putting warm compresses and manually extracting the milk between the actual feeds and helped. After the 4pm feed it was mostly gone.
    When I say nursing on schedule/on demand I mean that I have pretty much a schedule of feedings every 2 or 3 hours, but it ultimately depends on her, because sometimes she gets hungry after 2 hours but sometimes she can wait 3 or even 4 if we are having a ride on the stroller.
    Although today (2 days after that incident) I woke up with the same problem but in the other breast, and also notice a milk bleb there too =( This time though my breast seems way bigger than the other one. So I am doing the same rutine with warm compresses, and manually extracting and try to feed her more frequent, like every 2 hours, and took an ibuprofen this time instead of acetaminofen because it also works as a inflammatory ... Hope it works again

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lump in my breast

    Yeah, plugs often co-occur with blebs. The bleb blocks the outlet for the duct, and presto: plugged duct! Is the plugged area emptying at all at this point? If not, it may be necessary for you to break the bleb which is covering the duct. This can be done using a sterile needle, and should be done by you, not a doctor. You are better equipped that anyone else to know when you have gone too far with the needle.

    So, about the schedule- what would happen if the baby were hungry well in advance of that 2-3 hour mark? Would you nurse her, or try to get her to go longer without feeding? The reason I ask is that flexible routines are breastfeeding-friendly, but schedules, which tend to be more rigid, generally are not.
    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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    Default Re: Lump in my breast

    Well, when I was about to pinch that new bleb because nothing seemed to work and my breast was getting harder in a feed my baby broke it and stayed there for 25 minutes and emptied my breast! It made me feel like a new woman. I'm starting to thing that those blebs has to do with her latch, which I always try for her to get it right and help her by opening her mouth and try to position it well. Although it seems to hurt everytime she latches and then goes away during the feed.
    About the scheduled/on demand feeds it all started after a grow spurt where I got all confused and didn't understand her signs and was feeding her every hour or 45 min. It was exhausting and painful for my nipples, so I consulted an specialist and we built an schedule every 3 hours. But sometimes she is hungry every 2, or 2.5 hours so I feed her. But less than 2 hours I try not too, unless you can tell she is starving. But usually works well for her and help me develop my day. I think this routine also helps my LO to understand cycles. Usually she eats, then comes activity (change diaper, estimulation at crib with mobil or baby gym, or cards, or book, ride in the stroller,etc) then she sleeps, which is decresing the amount of time (I would say max 2 hrs, but is more common 1.5hrs or 45min or 1/2hr, but before she would sleep even for 2-3hrs) and then the cycle starts again... And that's how our day goes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lump in my breast

    Glad to hear that the bleb released!!! I know that blissful feeling of relief...

    Blebs typically are related to latch. Baby gets a wee bit sloppy, latches on a little oddly, and the friction stimulates your body to grow a bit of skin over a duct... And there's your bleb! Definitely strive for the best possible latch every time and try varying your baby's nursing position from time to time. That can help you avoid blebs. Time should also make blebs less of an issue- bigger babies have bigger mouths and they can latch on correctly every single time, with a lot less effort from you and/or baby!

    Was the LC you saw an IBCLC? Her advice seems very dodgy to me. A good LC should be willing to tell moms that no matter how exhausting frequent feeding is, it's also biologically normal. And also that scheduled feedings tend to be the enemy of breastfeeding success. Milk supply is created by demand. Any time you restrict demand by spacing out a baby's feedings to some artificial interval, you risk having your supply decrease to a point where it is insufficient to meet your baby's needs. This is especially true with young babies, who cannot necessarily just eat more at a feeding due to the very small size of their tummies- and your baby is very young, at just 8 weeks old. When my kids were 8 weeks old, they were nursing at least 10-12 times a day, sometimes more. Your LC seems to have you aiming for just 8 feedings per day, which is the minimum for most breastfed babies. It's great that you're open to nursing your baby every 2-2.5 hours if she seems hungry ahead of schedule. But I'd really encourage you to throw the whole schedule out of the window! Instead of watching the clock, watch the baby. If she seems hungry, she probably is.

    This doesn't mean you can't have a routine. Routines are actually great for breastfeeding. But schedules tend to wreck it.
    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!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lump in my breast

    When the LC came she heard my story, saw my nipples that were in so much pain, weighted my LO before and after a feed and based on her weight, my milk flow and how much was she getting from each breast, she created this "schedule" to use it with flexibility of course. The point was never to deny my baby food but to restructure some sort of system because I was totally lost by misunderstanding my LO. I thought every single sign meant hunger and would put her to my breast and sometimes it meant she was tired, or gassy or needed comfort or a diaper change or something else. And in fact her stool was getting more watery and I was going insane. She was growing and needing other things besides food and sleep. This just happened in the transition from 3 to 4 weeks. Ever since I saw the LC I got control, or more control lets say, over the situation, I started to understand my baby better, and so her 2nd growth spurt did not caught me by surprise. She seems to be growing good and healthy although we'll see our ped tomorrow and confirm or not if this system is working. She is even sleeping a good 6 to 7 hrs at night, 8hrs from her last feeding tops, sometimes I have to wake her up even.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Lump in my breast

    When the LC came she heard my story, saw my nipples that were in so much pain
    This is the part I just don't get. A LC should know that nipple pain is not caused by frequent feeding. When a baby is properly latched, she can be latched on literally all day long, and not cause any soreness whatsoever. If a mom complains of soreness, the LC should be working on the latch and checking the baby for tongue tie or thrush, not suggesting ways to space out feedings.

    There's nothing wrong with trying other comfort measures, of course. But with such a young baby, it's natural and in many ways desirable to reach for the breast before trying an alternative.

    Let us know how it goes with the pediatrician!
    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!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Lump in my breast

    Yeah, the latch was checked, an worked on it. No tongue tie, and no thrush. She saw a milk bleb in one nipple an that was part of the pain cause. Since we checked the latch, she also taught me positions to feed my baby. And I'm currently checking on the latch. Mainly the reason to create an schedule was to understand my baby's signs because I was getting confused and thought that everything meant hunger. And every time or mostly every time I place my LO to the breast she would suck on it, but sometimes was pacifying and I didn't know the difference.
    Ped said she was good. She said she is gaining weight on a normal range. Although I mention that I have to wake her up every day after the 8 hour feed because she wont wake up. That is the longest stretch and its during night. And she said that at this point I could let it go and see when she would wake up. First night she woke up after 9 hours, but today its been over 10 hours and she is still sleeping. I'm confused because they say "never wake a sleepy baby" but I don't know if this long stretch is ok. They also told me that eventually between the 2nd and 3rd month they could start going from 10 to 12 hrs of sleep. I understand every baby is different, but I want to know about healthy.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lump in my breast

    Also this is making my breast, specially the right one to engorge tremendously, so I have to wake up anyways to pump some milk. It stresses me out a little for her to sleep that much, so I can't sleep anyways. I wake up either because of the engorgement pain or to check if she woke up.

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