Maybe this is just a vent. I'm going to see my awesome LC as soon as possible.
For the past 2+ months (my son is 8 months old) I have been getting recurrent plugged ducts on one side. Like every day. I feel like all I am ever doing lately is working out a plug. It's not always the same duct. Some of them are really stubborn and excruciating. Honestly I feel like I am constantly about 10 minutes away from a mean case of mastitis. It all started with a milk blister, which still keeps coming and going, and my nipple is just really damaged and inflamed now. It hurts like hell to nurse on that side. Every few days I am pumping bloody milk.
I have tried (and continue to try) every single recommendation on kellymom and from my LC, for both blisters and plugged ducts. Lecithin, grapefruit seed extract, dietary changes, epsom soaks, hot compresses, olive oil, you name it. I'm going braless at home and wear a loose-fitting sleep bra when out. No side or stomach sleeping. No purses, bags, carriers. Frequent nursing, hot baths, shower stream aimed at the lump... I could go on and on. As for rest, I just got done with a 10-day vacation during which I did almost nothing besides lounging in bed and nursing, with absolutely no improvement in my symptoms. I have been using APNO on the nipple. I have been through two courses of different antibiotics -- both times things got better at first, and then worse again.
The results just came back from my milk culture and it was totally negative. Blood test also showed I'm not anemic. What on earth is going on? What am I missing? What am I doing wrong?
For the sake of my poor nipple I really want to exclusively pump on that side for awhile... I am crying through feedings just like in those early weeks of tongue tie and thrush... but that's just not an option because the pump could never keep the plugged ducts at bay.
Thanks for reading.