Breastfeeding is weird.
It is definitely one of the weirdest experiences of my life. This isn’t a new feeling amongst people who have breastfed babies, I’m sure. But basically, you go from being someone who has had their breasts sexualized since puberty and then suddenly…breasts are these magical, life-sustaining, food-providing sacs! Who knew!
Lots of negative things can happen to you when you breastfeed. Some of those things include: pain, cracking, bleeding, engorgement, clogged ducts, mastitis, and being completely and totally touched out (no one touch me again–ever).
One thing that no one told me about before I started my breastfeeding journey was… MILK BLEBS. AKA: milk blisters.
So there I was, minding my own business. It was 6:00 a.m., and I was attempting to complete my early morning pumping session…some of my only alone time when I’m at home. Pumping yields are variable and depend on a lot of things. For instance, if I nursed my daughter once or twice overnight, I would not pump that much milk to store. That said, I didn’t think much of the fact that I didn’t pump as much as usual out of one of my breasts because I had nursed my daughter overnight.
However, as the morning went on and I pumped again while at work, I felt that I wasn’t able to empty that breast. It was starting to hurt. I tried to massage and compress my breast. I made no progress, except to make my breast hurt more and become red and irritated.
So, I posted in my go-to mom group on Facebook, like one does, asking for help. Someone suggested that it might be a milk bleb. I’d heard of milk blebs through hours and hours of research while trying to learn how to make breastfeeding easier. I examined my nipple very closely and saw nothing there.
Though I saw nothing, I decided I would just squeeze my nipple really, really hard.
When I did that, I felt a POP inside and the milk started to flow. (P.S. – This is NOT the suggested treatment of a milk bleb, but I did what I needed to do.) I immediately put the pump back on and got the relief I had wanted for hours.
Before I gave birth and started my breastfeeding journey, I never thought I would examine my nipples so closely or talk about them with other people so freely.
If you have breastfed any of your children, or known anyone who has, what have you been the most surprised about?