What the heck is a MILK BLEB/ Milk Blister? Oh Mama Let Me Tell You

✨FULL DISCLOSURE✨ this is going to be TMI for anyone who isn’t currently breastfeeding or a pumping mom, or mama to-be. I honestly wish I would have known about this before it actually happened to me so I wouldn’t have been in pain for so long.

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Anyways 🖤 let’s talk about NIPPLES! More specifically, let’s talk about nipple pain. So I had no idea what the heck a “bleb” or milk blister was. Didn’t even know that pesky little speck was the culprit for…oh my goodness not even exaggerating….the worst breastfeeding pain I have experienced thus far. Essentially leading to milk back up and so much hardness and pain. It can eventually lead to #mastitis if not resolved. Which, I’m sure I was pretty close too, until my resolution this morning at 1am. So since Saturday I have had so much pain in my right boob, hard lumps all the way up to my armpit. Usually this happens if I go too long without feeding or wear a sports bra that is too tight.

It was slightly red on the skin so I was watching it. The next few days I could relieve some pressure but not completely get rid of the lump. I was hand expressing, hot compress, heating pad, feeding more, pumping and nothing was working. And usually it always get relief.  And in addition to that, I was having the worst nipple pain when breastfeeding, I’ve had this one other time for a few days but it resolved itself and never even knew what caused it! Well ladies and …well…ladies, yeah only ladies get to experience this, dads are lucky and get to skip out on this joy of parenting. It was a milk blister or milk bleb , a tiny clear/white/yellow speck on your nipple. It’s basically trapped milk under skin that has covered a duct. That teeny tiny speck can literally back up your whole breast and cause serious pain. I remember seeing the speck the first time months ago when I had pain but had no idea what it was. Sometimes they resolve themselves after a few days but other times not, the first time I had it, it resolved on its own and I never knew what it was from nor did I research anything.   I swear tho, after I broke it open, soo much milk came flowing out! So much relief! Here’s what I did!

SOAK- epsom salt soak for the affected nipple (1 cup hot water, 2 T salt) soak for 4 minutes 

Olive Oil- soak a cotton ball or napkin with olive oil and hold on Nipple (this softens the skin)

EXFOLIATE- this sounds scary, and it is. But the salt and oil helped a lot. With a clean finger nail or towel rub the nipple to break the skin open. 

You will need to keep the nipple moisturized because when it gets dry, it can get hard and sore.  I used my mama butter from Burts Bees, probably not the best thing to use, I didn’t have nipple cream.  I DID NOT feed Rad from the affected nipple unless I washed it off.  There is nipple cream out that you don’t need to wash off before using.

To continue with my story, I had written the first part of this (everything from breaking the skin and before) the morning after I broke the bleb open.  My pain continued for 3 days and was sooooooo sore.  My breast continued to back up and I had to use a few methods to get the milk out, which at first was bloody.  I know, gross.  But more than gross, it was so freaking painful.

Things that I did to express the milk and break up the blockage with a very, very sore, bleeding nipple.

I used

  • a heating pad on the nipple and hard areas where the milk was accumulated
  • salt water soak on the nipple
  • massaged (even though this hurt so bad to touch)
  • took ibuprofen for the inflammation
  • hand expressed the milk in the shower under warm water (this helped a lot!)
  • and used my electric pump (I could control how fast it was pumping)

It says online to still nurse on the backed up breast to release the blocked duct, but with my daughter being 11 months old she is quite the acrobat while feeding now.  Here is a visual for you guys…I lay flat on the floor, one milk tank out, my tiny human then proceeds to climb all over me, rolling her body like a crocodile, flailing arms, legs, looking around in every direction, singing, pulling my eyelashes, yanking her own ponytail….all while…yes, you guessed it…attached to my nipple.  This makes for some pretzel boobs…and that alone can get uncomfortable enough without someone popping on and off your cracked, bleeding nipple!  So I fed her on the one side for a next two days and self expressed the other side myself.  It seemed to clear up over night once I stopped Radley from the extreme sucking.  I did continue to clear any skin build up or scab that appeared as the blister healed.  It doesn’t take much for a milk pore to get clogged.

If you mamas out there have any natural remedies or ways that you cleared a clogged duct, mastitis or healed a milk bleb, please leave your experience in the comments!

I hope this post helps who ever is doomed with a sad experience of a milk blister! Thanks for reading!

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