Breastfeeding Bleb – Ouch!
Breastfeeding Bleb -What is it you might ask? Well thats what I would have said too a few months ago! Although I volunteer at a local breastfeeding group and thought I knew a fair bit about breastfeeding problems this was a new one on me.
How it started
For a couple of weeks I’d started to get a few pains inside my breast, sometimes it was after a feed, sometimes just at a random time in the day. Often these pains would be a shooting type of electric shock pain. Flixster is 20 months so I knew it wasn’t his position or attachment as I checked and double checked he was on correctly. The pains would track back inside the breast, and sometimes really really hurt. The sort of pain that would wake me in the night. A few weeks before the pain I’d noticed a white part on my nipple, it was tiny, really small. (Sorry I don’t have any photos!) It looked to me like a part of the nipple that didn’t have any blood flow. It didn’t look like a blister as I thought it might after I looked up blebs. I wish I’d taken a photo now to show though. It was not what I thought a bleb would look like. It was almost like a small section of the nipple that had just gone white.
How I found out it was a breastfeeding bleb
After describing the pain to a lactation consultant she instantly said to me I was describing a bleb. A bleb! I’d not come across it before. I asked advice on how to get rid of it and she gave me a few options but the one that she said usually works the best is to get a needle and either try to pop it or try to scrape it all off…… yes thats right a needle…..yes I ran a mile too. She explained to me that a bleb is a blockage at the end of the duct and the pain I was experiencing was the breastmilk tracking back behind the blockage. The pain was not something I’d experienced before, a pain that woke me at night was not a pain I could ignore!
After I’d thought about it (and I’m not a needle phobic) and experienced the pain again, I decided to give it a go. I had a sterile hypodermic needle and gritted my teeth and tried to pop the bleb. I thought that would be it, I thought it would be gone. It wasn’t. I was however pleased to find out that trying to pop it hadn’t hurt. I thought it would be painful but thankfully it wasn’t so I got a new needle and tried again a few days later. This time I gave it a good scrape, it did bleed but most importantly it didn’t hurt. After I had dug it out (yak) I feed Flixster to try and get him to clear the blockage. I was still in pain but I knew that hopefully this was just the backed up milk leaving the breast. The following day the area had scabbed over and it took a few days before it was completely healed. The bleb had to be the most painful breastfeeding experience I’ve had. I am thankful that most of my breastfeeding journeys have been relatively smooth. Both boys had tongue tied but never caused me as much pain as the bleb did! Thank goodness by scraping it all off I solved the problem. If you’ve had experience of a bleb then feel free to contact me.