I am new to these forums and searched to find the right place to ask this question and I hope this is ok.
I successfully breastfed my son for 28.5 months. I had a great supply, even a bit of an oversupply and never had any issues beyond the first couple weeks of pain when he was learning to latch properly.
I weaned very gradually and never had pain from weaning or any issues there either. However, now it is 6 months later and I am finding that I am still getting what I can only assume are dried milk "scabs" on my nipples. I have picked them off on occasion, but sometimes they don't all come off/out. I am mostly concerned about this because I am now almost 17 weeks pregnant with my second child and I am worried this is going to cause issues with breastfeeding that child.
I don't really have any pain with the "scabs" so I never assumed mastitis or anything like that. My nipples are a bit sore after I pick them off, but nothing that doesn't go away within a day or so. I assume because I am picking so much at them and pulling on the skin. Now though that I am pregnant my nipples are tender/sore but I still don't believe it to be from the "scabs" at all.
I am worried that the pieces that wont come out of the ducts/pores or whatever are clogged and that it is going to inhibit the flow of colostrum when it is time to bf again. Or that once my body is actually trying to produce milk again it might turn into something like mastitis.
I started leaking very early on in my first pregnancy, and I am wondering if I should be this time again and that maybe the clogged parts are not allowing that to happen. Is it possible that I was still producing small amounts of milk that were drying up and plugging things up only to be replaced by leaking for this new pregnancy? Should it be plugging up like this though?
Should I be trying to unplug/remove the "scabs"? I don't want to stimulate my nipples to the point that it causes any early labor or whatever. But at the same time it's hard to leave it alone since when it's scabbed over it is very rough and annoying when it brushes up on things.
I know I have given a lot of information, and I thank you for reading it. I just hope someone can shed some light on my situation for me!