I have treasured my breastfeeding journey. I’ve sailed through periods of exclusive breastfeeding, extended breastfeeding, nursing through pregnancy and tandem feeding. I’m a proud, seasoned breastfeeding mother. How could one tough month have me waving the white flag?
First, it’s become blood sport: My eight-month-old has turned nursing into an acrobatic mission of twists, turns and claws. It’s as though she’s playing a solitary game of Twister and every combination starts with “mouth on nipple” (as in “mouth on nipple, bum in the air, finger in mommy’s eye”). There’s an awful lot of face-grabbing, breast scratching and nipple tugging going on these days, making it more of a wrestling match than a bonding session.
Second, I got a nipple bleb: If you have a special interest in innocuous-looking things with the ability to produce monstrous pain, look up nipple blebs. A bleb is a small callus or blister that builds over one or more of your milk ducts. It might not look like much (mine was a small white mark just half the size of a pencil eraser), but by blocking your milk flow, it’s a catalyst for fierce pain. Breastfeeding on my right side was impossible until I found a trained lactation consultant prepared to scratch it off me with a hypodermic needle. Had I waited another few hours before finding help, my over engorged breast just may have exploded (which I imagine would still be less painful than nursing through that darn bleb!) Continue reading