There are two ways to look at this… one is, congratulations you’ve reached a year! Pat on the back, and a big high five!! It is no easy task! …. and the other one is, Waaaah! It’s been a year and I don’t know how to stop! He’s got teeth!
Haha! So which one can you relate to???
To be honest, this is the longest I’ve ever breastfed! 14 months and counting! (Doesn’t even seem to be ending soon! Haha) .. With my two older kids, I only reached a year, but by 6 months they were all drinking from the bottle and not directly anymore.
For some reason, it’s totally different for me this time around, and I thought I had this all handled. But I guess your own kids sure know how to surprise you! Each one is different I tell you.
Anyway, I thought of writing about this because just last night, my left breast felt quite sore even after feeding! I felt lumps all around. (No need to panic, this is totally breastfeeding related.)
So I immediately thought it was Mastitis. Mastitis is a breast inflammation and infection, which results in swollen and painful lymphnodes that go all the way up to the armpits causing you to have a fever as well.
Okay, So I didn’t have a fever and the lumps weren’t all the way up.. Pain was manageable.. and would only hurt when I would press on the nodes…but it was uncomfortable!
I immediately applied a warm compress for about 20 minutes, massaging the nodes in a circular motion. Some of them, I pressed on really hard ’till I couldn’t take it. (Think of a pinched nerve and pressing on it! Ouccch!) Like that, but on the breast. The pain!!!
After the 20 minutes of warm compression, since Maxen was asleep, I got my pump and tried to let out as much milk as I could. After 10 minutes, I felt that the ducts were still blocked- and that’s what was causing all the lumps.
So i applied the warm compress again for another 20 minutes. Massaged, and then pumped again. I did this for about 4 cycles because I felt like my breast was so beaten up already. I ended up just going to sleep.
I woke up the next morning and I felt that it was full again. I still had a few lumps around so I jumped into a hot shower, I tried to massage a bit and express some milk out. But right after, I made sure to feed Maxen directly.
This time i felt relieved. Like it went back to normal. I fed again after 5 hours and it was totally okay. (Except for the nipples feeling a bit sore- just a little lanolin or nipple gel to fix it)
Just for peace of mind, I actually called Beng of the Parenting Emporium (‘coz they always know who to call or what to do) and I asked if she knew any massage therapist for lactation. I remember I had this done with Tyler, my 2nd child because I actually did have Mastitis before. (8 years ago) I had to take antibiotics! The worst experience ever.
Well coincidentally, Beng was with a lactation specialist and doctor at that very moment… and so I spoke to her and she told me that everything I did was correct! (Phew!) and the best way to relieve it is to directly feed your baby.. you have to let it out or else the ducts will just get even more clogged.. leading to Masititis.
So anyway, I thought of writing this so that just incase any of you go through this, you know what to do and it won’t be too late!
What’s important is to act on it right away, so that it doesn’t lead to an infection.
And again, congratulations mama!!! Breastfeeding is not an easy task, it takes a lot of time and effort – but you get used to it and it’s all worth it.
What are your thoughts? Do share!
Photography: Louie Arcilla