Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Your Mother Never Told You About Breastfeeding pt 2 - Remedies

And we're back! Part 2- All the remedies I used

Cracked nipples, Engorgement, plugged ducts, blebs and thrush.

Cracked nips due to an improper latch:
Good ol' lanolin helped that.(And fixing the latch issues). I bought a big tube in the stores and honestly, probably didn't need to if I'd used the sample and travel stuff first.

1. Good bra or comfortable nursing tank. I dig the less than 20$ long nursing tanks that Target carries.
2. Cabbage leaves. Yes, I said cabbage leaves. Skip the 15$ cooling pads that come 2 to a box in the stores. Get a head of cheap cabbage. Put it in the fridge so it is cool, then cup your breast with a leaf. *WARNING* You don't want to do this too long or often. They can actually dry up your milk if you repeatedly use them. I used them 2 or 3 times max for 30min once(because I fell asleep or would have been shorter!) and 10-15min the other 2 times. It works. And now I tell everyone because it drives me bonkers to pay 15$ for a box of those cooling pads. Before I read about the cabbage trick, I drove around to all the stores looking at and buying every sore boob remedy I could find. And it added up!
3. Lily Padz. I *big puffy sparkly heart* love them. For a while there I couldn't take a shower or wear a shirt comfortably, I was in so much discomfort. Now I can't remember where I heard about or first saw the Lily Padz, but they are available in Target, BRU and my local cloth diaper store. These are one of the few things I felt were worth the 20$. They fit best when I was bigger than usual, so my guess is best fit for a large B+. They are actually a reusable sticky breast pad you wash in the sink, dry and reapply. You do have to be careful in their care as certain oils and such will reduce their tacky stuff. They do make special soap for them and I felt it was worth it. These suckers helped hold back the Flood That Is Stacy's Milk. It took a little finesse to pull them off to nurse when the air pocket was full of milk but I just kept a burp cloth near and sort of patted that into it as I pulled it off. I hope these guys are around for all future babies of ours!

Plugged ducts:

I did end up with a plugged duct in my Super Producer breast. Truly no special products were needed, just myself and my babe. I massaged it and put some compresses on it first. Then we nursed like crazy. The best thing I read was to position the babie's chin towards the plugged duct. This worked immediately for us. Unfotunately, it involved using the football position(which I dislike immensely) BUT you'll do anything to clear that duct, including getting over said dislike. To prevent future plugged ducts, make sure your clothing/bras are not too tight and that you do try to switch nursing positions as often as possible.


A bleb is a milk blister. It hurts like H E double hockey sticks. I'm surprised I didn't bite holes into my comforter, clothing, whatever was closest to me when trying to nurse the Boob Man. Our latch issue, my oversupply and thrush may have tipped the scale in favor of us getting this bleb. And just why is it called a bleb? I don't know, but saying the word makes me feel like I'm spitting something disgusting out of my mouth. Try it! See what I mean? To clear the bleb, I used a hot/warm compress prior to nursing and tried to gently scrape a bit of it up with the washcloth and my (clean) fingernail. Then nurse. And you won't want to. You'll cry. You might yell at your significant other. You might cry some more. But you have to nurse. Or, use a hospital grade pump. Which I didn't have, so we nursed and I cried. Moving on!


My baby never showed the classic signs for it but I could tell I had it in the Super Producer breast. I'll admit, we hit it with just about everything. I tried acidophilus, genetian violet, nystatin and diflucan. We also talked to our pediatrician and got medicine for my son to treat the thrush we assumed he probably had, as well. I'm not positive which one worked, or if it was a combo of two, three, or them all. I like to try to avoid drugs and heal things using natural methods, but at this point in our nursing career I was done. In fact, I do believe I stated if I got mastitis I was done nursing. Thankfully, that did not happen! (And not to say you SHOULD stop nursing if you do!)

***I'm not a doctor, I'm just a mom sharing her personal experience with the above mentioned. If you are having nursing difficulties, please contact your local La Leche League and your doctor.

Bottomline- After everything, we have had and are having a wonderful breastfeeding relationship. I'm so glad I stuck with it and had the support of some wonderful people in my life. And I'm thankful for the internet. Or I'd never have known what was going on and probably would have given up(because there's so much my mother never told me!). Mamas, go out of your way to talk to a new mom that's trying to nurse. Ask her how they are doing, if she is having any struggles. So many of the things I experienced I had no idea of because no one talked about them. The more open and supportive we are of each other, the more women will choose to do what is best for their babies: Breastfeed.


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