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|Sun, 01-01-2012 - 11:47pm|
Hi. My name is Terri and I am from Australia. This is the first eping board I have found so I am terribly excited that I am not alone. My story is as follows: My son was born via emergency c-section early October. I had some initial latching problems with him but nothing dramatic. I breast fed him reasonably well for 6 weeks ( for this I am thankful as it established my supply). I had the usual cracked nipples but nothing out of the ordinary. During these six weeks, I noticed that my right breast was very engorged. At times it seemed twice the size of the other breast. I have wanted to be better endowed all my life so it was incredibly annoying to get my wish in such a lopsided way. After about five weeks, half the right breast was covered with bright red streaking. I was not overly bothered by this as my son was feeding well, putting on weight and the breast was not tender. I decided it could not be mastitis as everyone described their mastitis experience as them being so sick they could barely get out of bed. Big mistake on my part. In the seventh week, the breast was so swollen that my son refused to latch. I thought I might have blocked ducts so began using hot and cold compresses with a vague idea that I should see a doctor at some time. It was only at my son's sixth week check-up that things started moving. The paed said I had the worst case of mastitis she had ever seen and could possibly have breast abscesses, which is the tail end of untreated mastitis. She arranged for my OB to readmit me to hospital where I spent the next five days. I had three huge breast abscesses and had to have surgery to drain them. After surgery, I had a drain hole left in my breast to drain the pus and milk. It took three weeks to close and was gross! I was on heavy duty antibiotics during this time. It was awful. My son was with me but I only had one breast in operation. The midwives brought me a hospital grade pump so I could keep draining the right breast to prevent the abscesses returning. I could only pump 1/2 ounce at a time. I knew the breast was full of milk and could not see why it would not come out. The lactation consultant was no help (I have developed a very low opinion of LCs) and kept saying that I should try the football hold. Next time anyone comments on my latching problems by suggesting the football hold is going to have me use their head as a football. Of course I had tried it. Dozens of times. I am not stupid! I would try feeding while standing on my head if I thought this would work. Anyway, next time I pumped I watched the nipple. I saw that it was drawing back into the areole at every pull. Kind of an inverted nipple without looking like an inverted nipple. I figured that women with inverted nipples use breast shields so why not try and pump with a breast shield on? It worked like a dream. (btw, my son would refuse to latch with a breast shield so I have not missed that obvious step). To cut a long story short, I found that feeding on the left side and pumping the right was doing my head in. Plus my son was beginning to refuse the left breast- he loved the bottle! In the end, after a crossover of two weeks where I replaced two feeds a day with formula, I am now officially a milking machine. 6 or so ounces every three hours. Now that my son is only waking once in the night I am down to 7 pumps a day. My son still takes the left breast for his night feed when he is too sleepy to notice it is not a bottle. I am overproducing milk and wish there was a milk bank near where I live. Pumping is challenging to say the least. I am lucky as my supply was already established when I ran into problems and I only have one child to worry about while I am stuck on the pump. I don't like my life being in three hourly increments but it is not forever. I am seriously considering stretching pumps out to four hourly as this would make life easier and I have the supply. I am very proud that my son is exclusively fed bm and that I was the one who made it work. I cannit wait until he starts soldis so I can start winding down the regime. My big gripe is that people who are tolerant of you bfing on their couch now want to send me to their bathroom to pump. Apparently it is some dirty little secret. And to all of those lactation consultants out there who said exclusive pumping can't be done because I would lose my supply, lose my mind, be on formula in a week, setting myself up for failure, a big na na ni na na.