Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Chronic engorgement and blebs?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    69

    Default Chronic engorgement and blebs?

    My son is 5 months old and is in excellent health (he is EBF and weighs over 15lbs, from 6lbs at birth). This issue is with my breasts. He started daycare for 5 hours per day on January 4, and I had a daycare provider who was ignorant about breastfeeding. Though I was giving her 4-5oz. of milk, she was allowing him to comfort suck, so he was finishing it all. She told me I was starving my son and needed to either supplement with formula or give her more milk.

    I panicked and ramped up the pumping... pumped twice at work and once at night until I was pumping 12oz. Monday through Friday and 4 oz. on weekends. That's when I got mastitis, of course. I resolved it on my own, and by the first week in February, I had cut the pumping down to once a day Monday-Friday for 10 minutes and not at all on the weekends. I produce about 4oz. in that time, which my current daycare provider gives him and which he rarely finishes.

    The problem is, every weekend and school break, I get engorged. Had a vacation last week for 5 days, and a 4 day weekend this weekend, and both times had to clear several blebs to relieve painful engorgement. Milk shoots out several feet and drains for an hour or more! This happens to a lesser extent on the weekends too.

    How can I stop this engorgement every time I have a break from the pump? I don't think I'm overpumping anymore, yet I still have an oversupply, and it's been a month. There are blebs any time I'm off the pump for more than a day or two.

    Thanks for any help and advice.
    Last edited by @llli*shaolin.kitten; February 28th, 2010 at 08:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,957

    Default Re: Chronic engorgement and blebs?

    Maybe the solution would be to pump even on the weekends? Not as aggressively as you need to during the work week, but just enough to make sure you don't wind up with blebs? It could also help you build a nice stash of EBM in the freezer...

    A soy lecithin supplement may also help with blocked ducts, and watching your baby's latch should help you avoid blebs.
    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Chronic engorgement and blebs?

    I'm worried that, if I pump on the weekend, I'll increase my supply. I figured that while I'm at work, expressing 3-4 oz. would be the same amount that I would feed my son if we were together, with no excess. This is why I'm surprised that I'm still having engorgement problems after a month.

    Also, maybe I'm not using the word "bleb" correctly. I'm having these grains of solid milk getting trapped in my nipples. I can pick them out; they are the size of a grain of sugar but more solid. When they come out, tons of milk drains out behind them. The engorgement is then relieved. However, if my son nurses off the formerly engorged breast, he immediately poops, and then poops in every diaper afterwards for 3-4 changes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,957

    Default Re: Chronic engorgement and blebs?

    I'm worried that, if I pump on the weekend, I'll increase my supply.
    I agree, that could be an effect of pumping on the weekend! I was thinking that you could pump very minimally- enough to pump out the plugs but not so much that you increase supply dramatically...

    Also, maybe I'm not using the word "bleb" correctly. I'm having these grains of solid milk getting trapped in my nipples. I can pick them out; they are the size of a grain of sugar but more solid. When they come out, tons of milk drains out behind them. The engorgement is then relieved.
    I think what you're calling "blebs" are actually plugs. The soy lecithin supplement should help with these little agglomerations of clumpy milk that are plugging the ducts and causing engorgement. Some moist heat (think warm wet washcloth) on the nipples before nursing may also help loosen the plugs.

    However, if my son nurses off the formerly engorged breast, he immediately poops, and then poops in every diaper afterwards for 3-4 changes
    The pooping may be connected to the engorgement- when the baby drains a somewhat engorged breast he may either get more watery foremilk, causing a lot of poops, or he may just simply get so much milk that his digestive system is stimulated to make room- and lots of it!- by moving poops out. Unless he seems uncomfortable, I wouldn't regard this as a problem.
    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Chronic engorgement and blebs?

    How much pumping is minimal? Like, an ounce off each side?

    Why am I still having this oversupply and plugs problem? It doesn't feel like it's normal, since I know other women pump on weekdays and not on weekends but don't have this issue. Is it a residual problem from the overpumping in January? Can I expect it to resolve, or will it always be like this whenever I have a break from the pump?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,957

    Default Re: Chronic engorgement and blebs?

    How much pumping is minimal? Like, an ounce off each side?
    That depends on how you respond to the pump. For some moms, 1 oz would be minimal. For others, it would be too much. It's hard to know which mom you are without trying... I wish I could think of a better solution!

    Why am I still having this oversupply and plugs problem? It doesn't feel like it's normal, since I know other women pump on weekdays and not on weekends but don't have this issue. Is it a residual problem from the overpumping in January? Can I expect it to resolve, or will it always be like this whenever I have a break from the pump?
    This is another one that's hard to answer. Is the oversupply/plugs problem related to overpumping 2 months back? Maybe. Will it resolve? Gosh, I hope so!!! Why are you having this problem? Who knows... Maybe you're just especially vulnerable to plugs? I know some moms get many more than others, so I don't think you're alone in this!
    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Chronic engorgement and blebs?

    I am taking 1200mgs twice a day of lecithin and have been for the past 2 weeks. Should I step it up? Should I take it for the duration of breastfeeding, or just until this problem resolves?

    ETA: Thanks so much for the help and advice!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •