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Thread: Blood in milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    12

    Unhappy Blood in milk

    I've had a lump in my breast since my daughter was born (she's 7 months old now). Yesterday I went in to have the lump checked out, and they believe it's a lactating adenoma (benign tumor). They did a biopsy while I was there, and since the biopsy was done, I've been pumping very bloody milk from that breast. I've been tossing the bloody milk. This breast was my larger producer. I've only been nursing my daughter from the other side, and supplementing with frozen milk from my stash. The doctor said it could take up to a week before I stop seeing blood in my milk.

    Any tips on maintaining my milk supply while I wait for the bleeding to stop? I'm not ready to wean my daughter yet, although I'm getting pressure from my family to wean her, especially now with the bleeding. My husband is upset because she nurses to sleep every night, and has been waking up once or twice during the night to nurse. He wants her to go to sleep on her own and sleep through the night.

    I'm trying to pump from the biopsied side every 3 hours during the day. I'm only getting an ounce or so out of the other side when I pump, so I'm going to use up my emergency reserve fairly quickly if I have to supplement her with my reserve at every feeding.
    Last edited by Deebie; May 14th, 2008 at 04:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,959

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    blood in milk should be ok for consumption: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/mothe...stmilklooklike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,570

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    w/ PP. Remember too, that it only takes a tiny bit of blood to change the color of milk dramatically.


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    Thanks, I've read that elsewhere too but I was a little concerned because there's a LOT of blood in here, not just a tint. It seems like the blood would cause her to be sick to her stomach.

    Hopefully there will be less blood in there tomorrow and I can go back to breastfeeding her morning and night, and giving her the pumped milk while I'm at work.
    at work morning and night

    Ecstatic mom to Elena born 10/12/07

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,360

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    If you put the milk in the fridge for a while- maybe a day or so?- the blood should separate out and sink to the bottom of the bottle. Then you could pour off the good milk and leave the blood (or most of it) behind. If you're having trouble getting a clean pour, I would think a gravy separator might help!

    Maintaining your milk supply is a great goal. Pumping as much as possible on both sides should give you the best shot at maintaining your output. If you see any significant decrease in the amount you pump, it's probably time to add a session or two.

    I'm sorry you're getting pressure from your family regarding weaning. That stinks! Does your husband get up in the night to take care of the baby? If not, I would say that your baby's sleeping/waking patterns are none of his concern. She or he (and it's almost always she!) who does the work makes the rules! You can reassure him that night-waking is normal for a less-than-one-year-old baby and that complete weaning probably will not eliminate it. Weaning and switching to formula would only mean that you would no longer have to get up twice at night to nurse her. You'd have to get up once to give her a bottle- and so would your husband! If he's smart, he'll realize that not rocking the boat is in his best interest.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    Sorry to hear about your problems. I don't have any advice for maintaining your supply, but I do have experience with blood in my milk. In the first few days after giving birth, my nipples became very cracked and dry and bled quite a bit during nursing. My son wasn't bothered by it, but some of it did pass through into his diaper and scared the jeebus out of me. Its a little weird to think of your child drinking your blood it probably won't make her sick. You could try doing a short nursing session and seeing if she gets an upset tummy afterwards.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    Thanks everyone. The doctor's office called back yesterday with the biopsy results, and it's a cystic adenoma (benign tumor). I'll go back for a follow up mammogram in six months.

    The amount of blood decreased quite a bit yesteday (48 hours post biopsy) from where it was before. I did put the milk I pumped from that breast in the back of the refrigerator so no one could see it. It separated overnight, and I'll use the good portion to top off the bottle she'll receive at lunchtime from the sitter. I nursed her off of that side yesterday morning, last night, and this morning, and she didn't have any complaints! I called my lactation consultant, and she also said it was OK to give her the milk. I was worried the blood would make her sick, but the LC said it's no different than any other protein source, it just looks gross.

    She has also magically slept from 10 pm to 5 am the last three nights, which has stopped my husband's remarks about weaning her.

    Thanks for your support!
    at work morning and night

    Ecstatic mom to Elena born 10/12/07

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