Dear2 had a bout of blocked ducts when Baby2 was 4 weeks old. It started 1 day earlier when the right breast did not seem to be emptied after a whole day’s of latching. On the second day, the right breast continued to feel pain every waking second, and wearing a bra when we went grocery shopping just made it feel worse. It throbbed with pain during the entire trip; touching it was even more horrible. Even the right arm’s actions were restricted as any movement sends pain signals on the right. Urgh…..
By noon when we reached home, Dear2 suddenly felt very very cold, on a blazing sunny afternoon. Took an afternoon nap with Dear1 and Baby2, and I was all tucked under the blanket. Switched off the ceiling fan, switched off the standing fan, 1 more blanket please, another 1 more blanket please. Gosh, something must be wrong with me to feel this cold on a hot afternoon. Touch the forehead, no, no fever. Maybe it’s really just cold.
Had a long 2 hour nap, woke up sweatless despite all that blankets, hmm, I was beginning to feel sick. 39.2 deg C. No good, better go sweat it out. Nap 1 more hour, 39.1 deg C. By this time, Dear1 was getting angry. “Cannot take this lightly, sweating it out does not work”. After much hesitation, I finally conceded to going to the doctor’s. But the family GP is already closed on this Sunday evening, and Dear1 does not trust the ‘locam’ doctors usually on duty during off peak hours at the other clinic. But I din want to drive all the way to the TMC 24-hr Family Clinic just to see another normal GP (“Not a breast-feeding specialist as well”, I say). Finally persuaded Dear1 to just let me see the “locam” doctor. Doctor took temperature – 39.5 deg C, and took a look at the painful breast. Prescribed anti-biotics and fever/pain medicine and we were back home.
At home, Baby2 can only feed on the left, unaffected breast. Massage REAL hard the right breast and pumped out the breast milk which was discarded – we dun want to risk Baby2 consuming breast milk that is contaminated with infection. For the rest of the next day, it was massaging and pumping and discarding. It was at times like this when you truly appreciate what it means “some things, though painful, you’ll just have to do it”. You have to massage REAL hard, otherwise the blocked ducts wun be purged out, and you have to be diligent to pump it out. It was REAL painful, but to recover, it’ll just have to be done. Ouch!!!!!!!!!!!!
By the following day, the initially pain-to-the-touch breast was less rock-hard-pain though it still felt bruised-pain. I even wondered if the blocked ducts were clearing at all. The fever has subsided as well, so we resumed latching Baby2 back on.
With continuous latching and massaging during the latch, the right breast finally felt normal again 2 days later. Yippee!
Having blocked ducts is a real painful ordeal. You can’t imagine how a normally tender breast can get so hard and so pain, with or without touch, until you’ve actually experienced it yourself. And sometimes I think how great breastfeeding mommies are, to have to go through so much just so that can provide whatever little breast milk for their precious darling baby. Jiayou mummy!