My So-Clogged Life

So here I am. Another day. Another clogged milk duct to ruin it.

I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged about my duct probs before, but alas, here I go again. I had one last week on my left side, and this week it’s on my right. I just can’t win!

Recently, each one happened after my almost 10 month old slept through the night. Though I’d REALLY love to celebrate these achievements, I can’t, because I’m frustrated and in pain. I want nothing more than for my son to consistently sleep through the night, but him doing so only means one thing. Clogged mama.

I’m hoping this will change if/when he routinely sleeps through the night. Maybe my boobs will catch on. So far he only does it sporadically, maybe a couple nights a week. I’m trying to start the weaning process now, because I only plan on breast feeding until my son is a year old. I might consider going longer, or starting to wean later, if it weren’t for the constant clogged ducts! It’s SO FRUSTRATING! Every time I get one I want to quit BFing then and there.

There was a glorious 2 month stint of time where I didn’t get a single one. Not sure what was going on there, but it was amazing. Now I’m back to the every week or, if I’m lucky, every other week routine.

I wish there was a quick cure for the dreaded clog, but I have yet to find one. I know, I’m supposed to nurse nurse nurse! And apply heat and rest. But how am I supposed to do that at work? I can’t exactly bring my baby to work and attach him to my boob all day. Nor is it feasible to pump all day long until the clog releases (side note: I think pumping is why I get them so often).

Here’s what I usually do to help (with nursing when at home):

  1. Rig up an Indiana Jones heating pad at work using a small plastic Ziploc, a paper towel, and water. Put it in the micro of the community kitchen (discretely so no one asks wth I’m doing) for 15 secs to get maybe 15 min of heat therapy (again, discretely place this in my shirt so no one knows it’s there/wth I’m doing with a bag in my shirt). Then try to pump as much as I can, usually once or twice.
  2. Take a HOT (like, hot as I can stand) bath, while lying on my belly and massaging, with the hope that gravity plays a role in this.

  3. Hand pump in the tub.

  4. Drink pineapple juice (read this on Pinterest!). This worked once, but maybe that was just a fluke.

  5. Cry and yell and throw my pump parts across the room because this damn clog is just too stubborn and my boob hates me!!!!

  6. Go to bed.

  7. Repeat until it miraculously goes away.

They usually last at least a couple of days, and I’m pretty sure the frustration/worry I feel when they come on does not make them go away any quicker. Luckily, thankfully, somehow I’ve never gotten mastitis. At least I have that going for me and my spiteful boobs.

“Oh, you got a full night of sleep?” CLOG!

“What’s that? You wore a bra that actually had some support?” CLOG!!

“It’s been a full week since you were plugged up? We can’t have that!” CLOG! CLOG! CLOG!

So this is my life. I truly enjoy breast feeding, but I’ve had about all I can stand with this issue. Hopefully next time around things will be better, but maybe I’m just prone to them for whatever reason. Anyone else?

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