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Thread: Sore breast

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    164

    Default Sore breast

    I have a sore breast. The LLLI FAQ on breast pain says that sore breast occurs "when the milk flow is blocked. Breast feels tender. There may or may not be redness or a hard spot in that area of the breast."

    I have had mastitis and a plugged duct before, and both times my breast was severely engorged. I recovered by frequent nursing, rest and hand expression. This time I was not engorged, and I don't see redness or feel a hard spot. I have been nursing from that breast quite frequently, and then also hand expressing, and it feels like I am fully emptying the breast (there is always a little milk but it doesn't look like a plug), but the soreness is not going away.

    The soreness woke me up last night, and has been bothering me off and on all day, including when nursing and hand-expressing, it's like sometimes it touches a nerve and there's pain. Not horrible pain, but sore.

    So if the milk flow is blocked, does that mean there is a plug in there somewhere I have to get out, even if I can't feel the lump? Is this the only cause of a sore breast like this? My breast looks completely normal. Do I just have to rest, nurse, and wait it out? I just noticed Andie613's post earlier today, where I see the problem was not a plugged duct in the end at all, but an infection.

    I was actually wondering if the soreness was related to not having ENOUGH milk, as sometimes I feel that my toddler is sucking me dry, especially now that 1) I'm trying to reduce nursing sessions a bit (still nursing many times/day and night though), 2) it's hot out and she's maybe a little more thirsty, 3) she always asks for both breasts now (never did before, as I had a ton of milk), and 4) my breasts have gotten smaller (back to their pre-baby size). Nevertheless after nursing I can always still hand express some milk so I know there is milk there.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,999

    Default Re: Sore breast

    This is a tough one. It's the kind of subtle set of symptoms that could be a lot of different things. Infection. Deeply buried plugged duct. Thrush- that would be a common cause of pain that crops up after months of trouble-free nursing, and also would match well with the random pain that is occurring between feedings. Any evidence of yeast in you, aside from the breast area? Vaginal yeast often accompanies yeast in 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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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    42

    Default Re: Sore breast

    I had similar soreness mine turned out to be dd teething she just cut her tooth I always change her latch when very sore she is 16 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,473

    Default Re: Sore breast

    Has your toddler gotten super acrobatic and really pulled at or pummled at you or otherwise possibly caused some internal bruising? Could you have gotten a but carried away with the hand expression? If you are not seeing ANY other signs of plugs or mastitis, and if it is not thrush, I would suspect some injury. I bruised myself big time working out a monster plug once, so it actually hurt worse once the plug was gone. It took a couple days to heal, like any other bruise.

    Has there been any latch issues/pain lately?

    Could you be pregnant?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    164

    Default Re: Sore breast

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Has your toddler gotten super acrobatic and really pulled at or pummled at you or otherwise possibly caused some internal bruising?
    yes, I think this was it. the pain has gone now. she has been very rough lately when I'm trying to get her to sleep, and at other times, for example I just had to plop her on the floor because she was kicking the other breast while nursing. But when I'm trying to get her to sleep I tend to be too lenient because I am just so desperate for her to go asleep and falling asleep myself, so she has been tugging and climbing and pushing and hurting me. But that will be another thread when I have a moment to write it...

    Thank you all for your help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,473

    Default Re: Sore breast

    Mine decided to get my attention by biting me today. Ugh!

    I will tell you somethign I do when I need baby to sleep and she is being uncooperative. This is if she is really sleepy and just resisting and won't nurse to sleep "quietly"--

    I lay down in bed with her and hold her gently but firmly, with her back to me (so not nursing and can't kick me.) She cries and struggles a bit and I sing to her or talk soothingly. It sounds horrible but i swear it works well, I have done it as needed with all three kids. You just have to know when to stop. When it works, after a few minutes, she will settle enough and then nurse eagerly and go to sleep. if it is not going to work, I stop and we get up. But if it is timed right (baby is truly sleepy) it usually works.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    206

    Default Re: Sore breast

    Bummer, I just posted again a few minutes ago....mine seems to be some kind of inflammation with the ducts or maybe a blocked duct buried deep inside the breast. Not happy about it whatever it is. I'm going to try heat/nursing/as much "rest" as possible with a toddler before jumping to antibiotics again. You might try heat packs--will help with soreness. Also Tylenol or ibuprofen might help if it's a bruise or inflammation. Might see if someone responds to my new post....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Sore breast

    I get (and have right now) a bruise like localized pain. This happens with some regularity. As near as I can tell, this is a minor and deep plugged duct. I get them more often when I'm out of the house (I wear a bra while out, and my distractible baby nurses less.). They always resolve by themselves, and I believe the pain is residual soreness once the duct is clear.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    164

    Default Re: Sore breast

    My soreness went away too. I thought it was a minor and deep plugged duct too, but I have small breasts and couldn't really imagine where the plug could be that I couldn't feel it, you know? So then I figured it was damage from DD pulling and pummelling. Luckily she has stopped doing that!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Sore breast

    I'm in the same boat. My breasts aren't really up to a size B while nursing. These sore spots are my great breastfeeding mystery. I'm never sure if I should assume there's a plug and massage/hand express/nurse more, or whether it's residual bruising from a plug, and I should let it be to heal. My LO's aren't at a pummeling stage right now. I had considered some kind of bruising from overfull (but not plugged) ducts. Your experience makes me wonder if over fullness leaves me prone to bruising from some otherwise minor external injury (I may have slept funny with an arm partially under/squeezing the breast that ended up sore). I wonder if those of us with small breasts (and therefore less fat as cushion) are more prone to such things.

    ETA: this time, I think I can just barely feel swelling in the sore region. It doesn't become more swollen when I'm full. It's barely noticeable with my fingers. It feels like residual swelling from something.
    Last edited by @llli*TimsMom; October 6th, 2013 at 07:27 PM. Reason: more info

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