Stupid breast doesn't want to get with the programme

(18 Posts)
MustHaveMoreTea Thu 28-Aug-14 12:51:38

Right. So. Bf used to = no problem. All ticketyboo. Hurrah and joy and thank goodness that is something that is going well. Then I got mastitis in one breast, and now the stupid organ is literally fucked. Leaving the other one to do all the hard work. Breast 1 is doing like a gazillion feeds a day and Breast 2 only plumps up (not fully filled, but not running in arrears at least!) once a day and once a night.
I've tried all the usual things to encourage general milk production, but it cannot keep up. It is not a problem in itself, the problem is with DC's feeding, because I can only really feed from one Breast 1, and we're constantly running a bit 'behind', meaning that during the day because I have to feed DC more often than was necessary before the stupid mastitis, as I can only use one breast, by the end of the day Breast 1 is getting exhausted too and DC is demanding more, more frequently (and also I suppose getting into the habit of small+often rather than big+lessoften). The last feed at night is much too little for a long sleep for the mite. Only saving grace is that Breast 2 is vaguely full for 3am!
Any tips on getting the damned mammary bap to get back onto the horse, or am I now permanently damaged goods? And if so, are there any mums out there who maybe had a mastectomy or are in a similar position with only breast working for other reasons? Should I stop bf on demand and instead do a massively strict schedule?
I'm this close to putting Breast 2 up for sale on ebay!!!

MustHaveMoreTea Thu 28-Aug-14 12:59:04

FYI cross-posted to General Health too.

Frusso Thu 28-Aug-14 13:04:24

Can you feed on breast 2? The more it is used the more it will pump up.

Frusso Thu 28-Aug-14 13:06:19

Also it doesn't need to be plump to be full. You could offer it first at every feed is snack so it gets the message that it's needed.

MustHaveMoreTea Thu 28-Aug-14 13:10:26

Yes, I have tried using Breast 2 in the normal advice fashion of 'the more use, the more milk', but it just doesn't respond. Hence my plea! It is nearing on two months of this lacklustre performance now! I continued feeding from it the whole time I had mastitis too (OMG how sore was that!) but I think maybe something may have fundamentally changed inside afterwards? Is that possible?

MustHaveMoreTea Thu 28-Aug-14 13:14:27

Sorry, Frusso, I used 'plump' more creatively than I should have! smile I know it doesn't have to feel plump to be full. It actually just doesn't fill up like it used to, and probably only up to about a quarter of Breast 1's volume (based on how long it takes for DC to drain it).

Madrigals Thu 28-Aug-14 13:24:41

It sounds like you've done brilliantly to get rid of the mastitis and generally with the bf thanks

Most women can feed with only one breast - so women can feed multiples and where one breast can't produce milk due to surgery. We had someone in our nct group who had surgery on one breast and ebf with just the remaining breast. A third of all bf woman have mastitis at some point and can usually carry on bf on the affected side afterwards.

It is also v common for dc to have a favourite breast - my DS did and the neglected side ended up smaller than the preferred side while I was bf still - all back to normal now, though.

So this is not necessarily anything to worry about at all.

Definitely best to avoid any kind of strict 'routine' as studies have shown that this has a tendency to reduce supply longer term. Best to keep on with feeding on demand as this is likely to be best for supply and weight gain.

I would recommend continuing to offer the non-favourite as often as possible. You could consider pumping just on that side to try to increase the supply on that side to see if that increased his interest in that side.

What I would do first though is to call one of the bf lines and get some good RL advice - they are brilliant for this kind of thing.

Frusso Thu 28-Aug-14 13:29:26

I presume you've tried all the typical eat oats (drink oat milk)and stuff too.
And yes mastitis blimbing hurts.

It could just be that dc has a favourite breast and feeds more effectively on one side.
It is possible to just feed off just one breast; it is possible for it to keep up with demand.

I don't think mastitis changes breast composition (?)

I don't really have any useful advice.

MustHaveMoreTea Thu 28-Aug-14 13:37:44

Ah, Madrigals, thanks for the cheerleading and for the interesting point = I never thought about there being a favouritism issue from DC and that it could potentially be part of the problem. Maybe mastitis tastes bad grin and DC remembers. That is very very interesting. It doesn't "feel" like the problem (my gut instinct is that it is medical, but what do I know!), but I will think about this possibility too now. Which bf lines would you recommend? I haven't tried any blush just got online advice, HV, friends, and so forth (hence all the 'usual' methods that come suggested not having helped so far).

MustHaveMoreTea Thu 28-Aug-14 14:52:16

Ah, Frusso, just seen that you also posted about favouritism when I checked back and reloaded. Sorry, didn't mean to ignore your comment. Yes, I wondered if perhaps mastitis can alter the way that the ducts and glands work together, if the infection happened to be quite deep? And if there is something one can do about it. Luckily I love oats. Unluckily it hasn't helped. But oat milk is not something I tried!?

Madrigals Thu 28-Aug-14 20:31:14

Must, I would personally call LLL or nct, but that's just because that is who I've called in the past

I honestly think it will be ok by the way -

Madrigals Thu 28-Aug-14 20:49:42

Just thinking about your clever point about the taste. Yes, mastitis makes milk taste temporarily salty, so maybe he remembered that and is having a bit of a nursing strike on that side?

Might be worth treating as a nursing strike on that side and gently offering, especially while he is sleepy and trying skin to skin. Will post a link in a second.

Madrigals Thu 28-Aug-14 20:52:50
Vicky5910 Thu 28-Aug-14 20:59:26

I'm a one-boober :D it's been fine, lefty just stepped up to the challenge after righty took a serious trauma. Of course both have given up now I'm pregnant. But I don't think you have any permanent damage there. Mastitis certainly didn't stop my breasts from performing. They did drop in supply as I used them less when the mastitis was bad because, as you quite rightly say, feeding from an infected boob is agony.
To boost supply I did figurative nurse-ins. Stuck a box set on, got 3 bottles of squash lined up and a packet of digestives and sat on the sofa feeding continuously for a few evenings in a row. DD thought all her Christmases had come at once :D if you offer the striking breast first at every feed so those really hungry sucks give it a good old slap awake, then switch to working one when little one is getting frustrated, then switch back once they've calmed down a bit, give the boob plenty of messages that it needs to get to work.
Might help??
The breastfeeding network has a great website and a telephone number too smile

MustHaveMoreTea Sun 31-Aug-14 08:31:53

Ah, Vicky. Thanks for the comments and advice Sorry to hear about serious damage, which I should think would not have been nice at all while you bfing!
Since Thrsday I've been religiiously doing bad breast first, good breast second regardless of fullness. No change yet, but I will keep at it some more. DC is a bit frustrated by how soon the silly boob runs out but seems much overjoyed at an immediately following serving from the good one, then very pissed at being placed back onto the lousy milk supply. grin
I think it is probably illegal to sell breasts on ebay anyways. wink

MustHaveMoreTea Sun 31-Aug-14 08:34:05

Thanks Madrigals!

Littlef00t Sun 31-Aug-14 09:56:38

Have you tried a different position for the dodgy breast? After my blocked ducts dd would scream and writhe if I even tried to put her onto the dodgy one, so I'd feed her from the good one then without changing position move her across onto the dodgy one.

Even if the breast has been emptied, the extra sucking before you're Sussex might improve supply. I've heard good things about fenugreek but presume you've tried.

MustHaveMoreTea Sun 31-Aug-14 21:07:14

Littlef00t = 'before I'm Sussex'? I've rifled through the recesses of my slang, but am lost!!

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