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Thread: new and need some advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    16

    Default new and need some advice

    Hi, my name is Claire. I have a daughter Beth who is 15 months old and a new little son Matt who was just born on April 19th. He was born at only 29 weeks so he is in the NICU for the time being..I can't wait to bring him home! Considering how early he was though he is very healthy - we just have to wait for him to get off his feeding tube to come home. Since he is too young to nurse really I have been pumping full-time since his birth. I rented the medela double electric pump from the hospital At first everything was going great. About four days ago though one on my nipples became clogged. You can literally see the clog..the nipple is buldging out on both sides. It's about three times bigger than my other nipple and is hard a rock. It looks like it just full of fluid but no matter how I try I can't get it out. It has become extremely painful to pump but so far I have stuck with it. Right now I am only getting anywhere from a half an ounce to two ounces from that breast though - my other good breast gives me about 4-5 ounces. After I finish pumping it is still hard and full of milk - I just can't get it out. I don't have a fever or other signs of a breast infection but I'm afraid I'm going to get one if things don't improve. I have been in touch with the lactation consultant from the hospital and she suggested warm washclothes, tea bags, massages, and hot showers. I've been doing all of that for a few days with no improvement. I really feel that I am at the end of my rope. It hurts so bad I can't even lift my arm above my head on that side..and I have to be very careful around my 15 month old b/c when she goes to hug me (lol...or slap me for that matter) it hurts so bad.

    Any advice? I just really need some encouragment and hope this will clear up. My daughter was also a preemie and I was never able to nurse her. I pumped full time for three months before switching her to formula. She did great and is very healthy but I regret not trying harder to actually breastfeed. The NICU she was at though wanted her to bottlefeed first and so by the time I brought her home she had zero interest. We've since moved and the hospital my son is at is more pro-breastfeeding. They're going to let me nurse him first - before he gets any bottles at all. Of course he'll have to get some since I can't be there for all his feeds. But still I'm hopeful. So with any luck I'll get over this first hurdle and be able to stick around this board for a while. I'd love to nurse him for a year +...but I refuse to give up before three months. I figure even if everything goes horribly wrong I can make it three months like I did with my daughter and at least give him a decent start.

    Last edited by clouise; May 8th, 2006 at 11:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: new and need some advice

    Awwww....he's adorable! Congrats!

    Have you considered trying hand expression on that side to see if it helps? http://www.lactationinstitute.org/MANUALEX.html

    You say you can see the clog. Do you mean that you can see white dots on the tip of your nipple?

    I'm moving your post to preemies for more replies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    16

    Default Re: new and need some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie
    Awwww....he's adorable! Congrats!

    Have you considered trying hand expression on that side to see if it helps? http://www.lactationinstitute.org/MANUALEX.html

    You say you can see the clog. Do you mean that you can see white dots on the tip of your nipple?

    I'm moving your post to preemies for more replies.
    Yes..I've been hand expressing too. And using a manual pump. lol..basically anyway I can get the milk out - I'm pretty desperate. The clog is actually not on the tip of my nipple - its on the sides. Both sides have a big buldge, its pretty weird looking. I wonder if one of the problems is that the pump is hitting the sides of the nipple where the clogs are so theres really no way they'll break like that. The lactation consultant just keeps saying they'll break if I keep pumping - but they just keep getting bigger!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    222

    Default Re: new and need some advice

    If you think the nipple is hitting the sides of the pump, you can purchase bigger "horns" (I don't know what they're really called, but that's what I call them ever since my nephew picked one up and ran around the house tooting into it like a trumpet!) to go with the pump. I'm really small-chested so I never thought that could be an issue with me, but at one point I was having some trouble (I pump at work) and someone suggested buying bigger pieces. You can see the size (in millimeters, I think) embossed on the plastic on the ones you have and look for larger ones at the baby store or online. Anyway, it made a difference for me.

    Whenever I have a clogged duct, I try the warm wet washcloths (I just shove them into my bra to hold them in place for as long as I can stand being damp) and if that doesn't work, I fill a cup with warm water and lean into it to let myself soak (I guess you could accomplish the same thing by sitting in a nice hot bath for a while, too). That really seems to help.

    I'm so sorry to hear that your little guy is in the hospital. He really is adorable, though, and you're obviously doing everything to get him off on the right foot!

    Good luck with everything!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: new and need some advice

    What an adorable picture!

    Um, I don't have a preemie, so I hope you will forgive my ignorance if my suggestion doesn't work, but I did have an idea as I read your post.

    With my daughter I had trouble getting used to the hospital-grade pump, just couldn't get a good letdown, and I think one side was harder to pump than the other. I didn't know there were any different "horns" available, so I didn't explore that route. What I ended up using to pump successfully was an Avent Isis hand pump because it had a soft silicone insert that "massaged" the breast while pumping. Basically the silicone insert squeezed the breast a little, rhythmically like a suckling baby, unlike the hard plastic horns on the Medela. I wonder if something like that would help massage the clog at the same time as the suction pulled on it?? When I was really engorged, the Avent would actually leave liitle indentatons where the petal design of the silicone had pressed the milk out. So, maybe if you did the hot soak, massaged back and forth as well as toward the tip with warm fingers, then used a massaging pump while imaging your little one eating (to try to stimulate a let-down, so the milk behind the clots would be pushing at the same time as the pump suction...)...maybe take some tylenol an hour ahead to take the edge off the pain, again to increase the odds of a good let-down...try to relax and imagine it working...for two or three pumping sessions in a row, maybe just work on that breast alone an extra time in between your regular pumping for the baby, maybe try the massaging pump for several minutes and follow with the hospital-grade on high?

    My heart goes out to you and the other moms so faithfully pumping for your preemies. I cannot imagine how tired you must be--I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with this without a baby to help nurse the clot out. Best wishes and prayers...and I hope I haven't offended by chiming in.



    P.S.
    Technical details--What's available (to the best of my knowledge):

    You might be able to find more on the forums about different pumps (I think there's a forum just about pumping), but here's what I've seen on the market...

    The Avent Isis hand pump goes for about $30, and that's what I had. They make an electric version now, both single and double (the iQ Duo), but I haven't tried them, so I have no idea how the suction compares. There's also a version by Gerber that is supposed to massage the nipple as well as the breast (Avent is a little further back than the nipple, but still on the areola). The Gerber one I bought is defective, so again, I can't rate the effectiveness, but perhaps the different shape of the silicone insert might help you. It was also about $30--$40. Last but not least, there is a possiblity that Medela might make a soft insert now for their own pumps. Someone mentioned it to me after I gave up on the hospital-pump, so I don't know if they had their info correct or not, but you could contact Medela to find out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: new and need some advice

    Thanks for the suggestions. Last night I went out and got a bigger horm (lol..I don't really know what they're called either) and have been using that. In any case it doesn't hurt so bad when I pump with it so I guess I'll see how that goes over the next few days. I stopped by and saw the lactation consultant at the hospital too and she gave me some soothies. They're really nice..I've never heard of them before.

    Also I took a hot bath last night and then started rubbing the nipple with a hot wash-cloth. After a few minutes one of the clogs burst open (there are two clogs - one on each side) A ton of puss came out. So apparently that's why the nipple is so hard...it is completely full of puss. Does that mean its infected? I'm wondering if I need to call my doctor and get some antibiotics or something - even though I don't have a fever or anything like that. I can tell I didn't get all the puss out and it just refilled itself and sealed over again last night. It did feel temporarily better just to get some of the pressure out though..I couldn't believe how much was in there

    On a more positive note - I nursed baby Matthew for the first time last night! Well..it wasn't exactly nursing, he still had to be fed by tube. But I put him to my breast and he latched on perfectly and even sucked a few times. I put hime on the good breast btw...at least I am only having problems on one side

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: new and need some advice

    hes so cute!
    I'm glad you got that worked out, sometimes it just takes some time.
    maybe some info here would help
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...tNov98p91.html

    I know a mom who had to have her blebs drained with a needle at the doctors office. ouch..next time you'll know what to do.

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