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One breast very engorged and watery milk

(11 Posts)
roslily Sun 04-Oct-09 19:59:58

My right breast has been engorged all day. Regardless of feeding. I have had to express a tiny amount every hour to relieve the pain, it is visibly bigger than the other.

When I express a very, very watery milk comes out, which has never happened before. Any suggestions?

boyraiser Sun 04-Oct-09 20:06:21

Have you taken ibuprofen - it will help with the pain and reduce the inflammation.

Between expressing/feeding, apply cold compress to relieve inflammation, but apply a moist, warm (as warm as you can bear) flannel for a couple of minutes prior to each feed.

Feed from the affected breast first, until it clears. Don't worry about being lop-sided now.

You can try massaging your breast (gently) whilst you express/nurse. You can use a comb for this (!) Or use your thumb and finger, and move them towards your nipple in a smooth movement, to try to free any blocked ducts.

www.kellymom.com has further information on blocked ducts, which can lead to mastitis (so you could try googling that).

How old is your baby? How often is s/he feeding? Have you got someone to help you out a bit? Hope things improve.

roslily Sun 04-Oct-09 20:10:18

Baby is 4 weeks old, I have my husband but no other family close. He tends to feed every 2 hours.

I can't take ibruprofen unfortunately- allergic, but will take some paracetamol.

boyraiser Sun 04-Oct-09 20:47:54

Have a look on Kellymom and see if there is another anti-inflammatory you could take. Paracetamol might help with the pain, but IMHE, an anti-inflammatory can help with actually clearing the duct.

It's really early days for you, and it's not uncommon to get blocked ducts/mastitis in the first few months of breastfeeding. You can feel rotten, so make sure you have your DH about to take care of you. Familiarise yourself with symptoms of mastitis (basically you'd feel like you'd very suddenly gone down with flu - achey, shivery, weak, emotional etc.). If this is the case, contact your GP and obtain antibiotics (flucloxicillin usually) to help you recover. These are compatible with BFing.

However painful it gets, try to keep BFing - your baby is really your best doctor - he might help clear your blocked ducts if feeding well.

Sorry to hear you are having difficulties. Hopefully more qualified MNers will be on to offer more advice shortly, but sending hugs - please don't feel it will always be this difficult. BFing is such hard work in the first couple of months, and this is a real kick in the teeth -but with rest, support, and the right advice you'll get through it.

tiktok Sun 04-Oct-09 20:49:18

roslily, the watery looking milk is normal.

boyraiser's suggestions are good.

boyraiser Sun 04-Oct-09 20:50:53

Also, try varying your feeding position - look up "rugby ball" hold, and if you can (difficult with a young baby) try to vary the position of attachment.

You can use savoy cabbage leaves (see kellymom for details) to soothe your breast, and it can also reduce your production in that breast - and thereby reduce your engorged feeling.

You could try sitting in a warm bath and massaging the affected breast too.

boyraiser Sun 04-Oct-09 20:53:49

Tiktok, thank you. I have long admired your own support and advice of BFing mums on MN (me included).

<To Roslily> - Tiktok's the one who might come back with some other good advice for you - she helped me through mastitis (under a different MN name) several years ago.

roslily Sun 04-Oct-09 20:54:57

Thanks. I have already had mastitis so know the symptoms to look out for.

BonjourIvresse Sun 04-Oct-09 20:58:44

If you have a power shower aim thatat the affected area and massage it at the same time.

boyraiser Sun 04-Oct-09 21:00:12

WRT power shower - have read that it is better to aim the jet of water on your shoulders - the warm, moist air is what helps the duct open prior to a feed, rather than aiming directly on the breast, which might irritate the inflamed area.

boyraiser Sun 04-Oct-09 21:02:14

Sorry to hear you've already had mastitis the once Roslily. FWIW I had it twice with one child, and once with the other, and blocked ducts on several occasions. However, if you have your heart set on BFing for 6+ months, don't despair. IMHE these blockages are more likely earlier on, and after 10wks I had only very minor and occasional blocked ducts.

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