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Blebs and Plugged Milk Ducts

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ironically, the day after I posted the Lecithin for Releasing Clogged Milk Ducts article, I got another plugged milk duct. I missed an afternoon feeding, and that evening got the painful lumps. It took a day or two to release. I also wasn't being religious about taking the lecithin since I had been doing so well. So I guess I have to be extra diligent about feeding times.

Today, I went to a doctor who specializes in breastfeeding medicine because my clogs were recurring and leaving blebs that haven't gone away (it's been a couple of months now since they first appeared after the first clog). The doctor gave me some Betamethasone (a steroid to reduce inflamation) to heal the blebs. Blebs are whitish blister-looking like sores on the nipples that are often linked to plugged milk ducts.

From what I understood from the doctor today, the blebs are caused when the pressure of the clogged duct causes milk to be released into an area of the nipple tissue where it shouldn't be, outside of the duct. This milk leakage irriates the tissue and causes the body to mount an immune response against the milk that isn't supposed to be there. White blood cells gather around the site to fight off the foreign substance (the milk).

Then they somehow get trapped there inside a blister-like bubble and, in my case, have continued to be caught in an infinite loop of immune response. That's why my blebs haven't gone away. Hopefully the Betamethasone will suppress the immune response and allow the bleb to heal. She said it might take a couple of weeks or so for this to happen. Then the blisters should hopfeully shrivel up and fall off. Also, she said this steroid ointment should help keep the nipples moisturized, which aids in healing. Olive oil is good for that too.

It will be nice to have some healing in that area. It has been sore, varying in intensity, for the past couple of months. It will make nursing a more comfortable experience for me. Oh, and I have to continue taking the lecithin. I don't really like taking it because the pills are so big, and I have so many other supplements to take these days (prenatals, calcium, iron, vitamin D, and now lecithin).

She also thought that it would be good for Baby to get some manual therapy from an Osteophathic Physician because it looked like her jaw is not symetrically flexible. Her left side seems a little tight, which may be throwing off her ability to effectively extract the milk. This could be contributing to my clogged milk ducts. This problem is also most likely linked to her torticollis issue, which is a topic for another day. But this cranial osteopathologist may be able to help the torticollis with some manual therapy.

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