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When Breast-feeding is Painful

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Breast Pain related image Photo: Getty Images

Breast-feeding was not my favorite thing in the world. I couldn’t relate to the mothers that immersed themselves in the joy of the private time with their baby while nursing. I just didn’t feel that.

Many times, I felt isolated as I excused myself from company to retreat to my room for a feeding. I was not comfortable breast-feeding in public and didn’t always have the time to pump.

I found it very difficult in the beginning as we both tried to get the hang of it. It was uncomfortable, time-consuming and at times, left me feeling defeated, wondering if my baby was getting enough food.

But I stuck with it and realized that it got better and easier after about 6-8 weeks. My body adjusted to the change. Before long, my breasts didn’t feel so full that I feared they might explode with a fast turn down the hallway.

With all that being said, I was proud to provide the nourishment for my children. I was willing to do whatever it took, for my kids.

Then the day came when I had my first plugged milk duct. Once you have one, you don’t forget. A painful lump on your already swelling breast. A sensitive and tender area.

The spot had a quarter-sized red mark on the skin. I had such a tremendous pain on the outer side of my breast. I could feel the lump just under the surface of the skin.

I wasn’t sure what it was. I didn’t know what to do. And I was still sleep-deprived with a newborn.

I called my friend. She told me that it sounded like a plugged milk duct. Her advice was to call my doctor and she explained what she did when she got them. While taking a hot shower, let the water warm up the area and try to massage the lump.

My doctor suggested hot compresses and allowing the breast to empty during feedings or by pumping. It took a few days but did go away.

Boy, did I want to make sure THAT never happened again. The advice that I was given for prevention was to allow the milk to empty from the breast. It did happen a few more times with my other children but I was grateful that it seemed to go away quickly.

When breast-feeding is painful, stay strong and always call your doctor with any questions.

Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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