Can I get a little personal here? I realized last night that I have had a milk blister! I’m still nursing my youngest, who is almost one, and we’ve been problem-free this entire time. In the last few weeks I noticed a little white dot on my nipple and thought, “Hmm, that’s strange. Oh well.” Then, it didn’t disappear. Then, I started noticing a firmness in part of that breast even after nursing, like it wasn’t draining all the way. Then, my milk supply on that breast drastically diminished.
Was I concerned? No! I really didn’t put all the symptoms together. Or, was I just in denial? I mean, this seems pretty obvious now that I type it out! I guess I thought that Liam was starting to wean, which could explain the milk supply, and that the white spot was just some kind of toughening up.
Well, the lightbulb went on last night. You know how you tend to think crystal clear right before going to bed? It’s like your mind finally relaxes and random, unprovoked solutions submit themselves just when you thought you were going to get some sleep.
The littlest bit of research confirmed that I had a classic milk blister. Not one caused by thrush, thank goodness! (That’s yeast infection in baby’s mouth and mama’s breat – I know, yuck!) Just a milk duct plugged at the nipple by a miniscule layer of skin that grew in the wrong place. The white spot is the milk stuck under the skin. The affected breast’s inability to drain fully and consequent milk supply problems are an obvious result.
Turns out, a milk blister can be surprisingly easy to treat. I gently scratched off the miniscule layer of skin. This was the worst part, somewhat like getting a sliver removed. Next I went to bed. In the morning, I had my husband grab a warm compress when Liam woke up for his morning milk. While Liam nursed on the unaffected breast, I applied the warm compress to the other. The idea is that the warmth helps any thick milk or blockages to soften and flow out of the breast. (By the way, it’s perfectly safe to feed baby when you have these problems. Milk cannot “go bad” inside the breast). After Liam finished his meal I was happy to discover the problem completely solved. No white spot. No blockages. Nothing!
So, let this be a leason to all you breastfeeding mamas not to ignore a suspicious little white spot. Removing the milk blister wasn’t so bad, but now I do have to deal with resultant milk supply problems. And now… I’m off to pump!