Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful phases in a new mother’s life. Unfortunately, it is also a period when there are chances of unexpected problems arising. Lack of breast milk, a baby who refuses to feed, painful breasts, infected breasts and breast feeding lumps are just some of the problems that are associated with breastfeeding.
Breast feeding lumps are quite common during this stage. Spotting the lump and getting it diagnosed and treated on time can lead to less tension and faster healing. Listed below are some of the common reasons for a breast feeding lump and how they can be cured.
Reasons For A Breast Feeding Lump
The most common cause of a breast feeding lump is a plugged duct. Tight bras, improper latching on while feeding and infrequent feeding all lead to a plugged duct. This results in a painful lump around the nipple area, with the breast becoming hot and red. The best way to cure a plugged duct is by allowing the baby to feed on the infected breast until it is completely empty.
If the baby stops feeding before the breast is emptied out, the milk must be manually expressed. Frequent feeding and warm compresses will help relieve the pain and unclog the duct. If a plugged duct is not treated on time, it could lead to a more severe problem known as mastitis.
A breast abscess is the collection of pus in a localized area in the breast. A very prominent lump forms in the area of the abscess. The pus must be drained off for healing to begin. This is done as an outpatient procedure with the help of a needle or a catheter. The baby must be encouraged to feed on the affected breast even though the taste of the milk may change temporarily.
If the baby refuses to feed on the affected breast, the milk must be expressed manually. If the abscess is very close to the nipple and there is a risk of it coming in touch with the baby’s lips, breastfeeding on that breast must be avoided until the abscess has completely dried up and healed.
Over time the water content of the milk in the galactocele dries up, leaving a curdy residue which must be removed. Breast feeding can go on even if there is a galactocele present.
Some women are prone to benign tumors in their breasts. These are absolutely harmless. Some of these tumors may be painful, however breastfeeding must continue as usual. Lipomas, adenomas and fibroadenomas are some such benign lumps that may become more prominent during breastfeeding.
While most lumps are harmless, malignancy and abscesses must be ruled out. A doctor must be consulted if the baby refuses to feed on the affected breast or if there is no improvement in the symptoms even after three days of regular emptying out of the breast and warm compresses.
Photo Credit: http://lakecharlesobgyn.com/Complete/293-Breast-lump.aspx