Kung Hei Fat Choi!
First off, I apologize for my absence. I’ve never been this busy my entire life! It’s all a big juggling act. Taking care of a demanding 4 year old and an almost two month old, plus managing the house…Exhausting! I’m even busier now than when I was juggling two jobs! Yes that happened once upon a time.
Anyway, I just wanted to give you an update about my breastfeeding journey thus far. It’s been almost two months and I’m so happy that I haven’t bought a single can of formula. Far cry from my first pregnancy when I started mixed feeding on the second week. I’ve been direct feeding since Sinag was born but started pumping sporadically when I had to leave the house. I didn’t want to have to take him to congested places due to the recent measles outbreak.
I’m using a Unimom Forte dual electric pump which I bought from BabyMamaph. It has served me well and has given me a head start on building a supply in the fridge. I have yet to establish a fixed pumping schedule. Can’t do that yet given how chaotic (but fulfilling) domestic life has been.
At first I could only do about two ounces but thanks to malunggay capsules and some yummy lactation cookies from Mom’s Basket, I noticed how my supply has increased considerably. These are the 1 week supply of chocolate and chocolate chip cookies that they sent me. Super yum!
Observe the before and after photos.
After (1 week and a half with intake of malunggay caps and lactation cookies)
As much as I would love to say that things are smooth sailing, I just encountered my first major roadblock. Last Sunday, I woke up feverish and with an achy left breast. I felt my breast and noticed a large painful lump. No matter how often I breastfed or pumped, my left breast still felt full! I read up online and realized that what I had was a plugged duct (or ducts because I think I had more than one). I was out of the house for four hours on Saturday and wasn’t able to direct feed or express right away. Plus I was wearing a wired nursing bra which may have constricted the flow.
I texted four lactation counselors whose numbers I found online. Unfortunately only two replied. One was on her way to Davao and referred me to someone else who also didn’t reply. As for the famous lactation masseuse/therapist, I asked if she can do a house visit and instead of a “yes” or “no”, she just texted that I should skip the malunggay caps and soup while I’m engorged and just to keep breastfeeding. I guess that’s a no but at least she gave me advice.
My OB prescribed paracetamol every 5 hours for the fever which eventually went away. The plugged duct and pain were still there though. I did everything…hot compress, massage…but still no relief.
I joined “Breastfeeding Pinays” in Facebook and got some pretty awesome advice. Two of the moms said that what I have is probably mastitis because plugged ducts don’t necessarily lead to fever. This freaked me out a bit. The next day since I had to get some documents from St. Lukes, I decided to stop by the lactation unit where the lactation nurse assessed my breast. She said it’s not mastitis because it’s not swollen and red. In fact, mine is still pretty manageable she says. She massaged my breast in a circular motion particularly focusing on the plugged ducts. After the massage, the nurses that assisted her took a Medela bottle and positioned it directly in front of the nipple, as she hand expressed my breast. Let me tell you. Hand expression is not for the faint of heart. I was writhing in pain. She managed to get a few drops and shortly after she made me touch my breast to feel the lumps. Guess what. The lumps were almost gone! I felt so relieved!
Now two days after, I still feel the lumps but they’re not as big and bothersome anymore. I’m still doing hot compress, circular massages and direct feeding and/or expressing right away. It’s a three-step process that I keep repeating. Hopefully soon I will be completely relieved of these plugged ducts and I can get back to the normal swing of things. My supply has noticeably decreased but I read that it’s just temporary. While I’m still treating these plugged ducts, I’m taking a short break from taking malunggay capsules or anything else to help increase supply.
But if there’s one thing I’ve added to my diet, it’s this.
Coming from the downpour of advice I’ve been getting, I learned about the existence of dangle feeding (a ninja nursing position I have yet to try haha) and the use of cabbage to help combat plugged ducts.
How about you moms? What advice can you give to rid yourself of plugged ducts?