Weaning and Worrying

Written by mom - Leave a Comment

As a Christmas present to myself, I decided to wean my youngest son. My first three boys weaned almost without incident. The only real trouble I had was a blocked milk duct in my right breast very shortly after weaning my second oldest. I went to my ob/gyn and he literally milked me until the duct was unblocked. Suffice it to say this was not a pleasant experience (and anyone who has experienced a blocked milk duct or mastitis just cringed).

This time around everything seemed to be rolling along as planned. And then I found a lump in my left breast. I was only ten days out from weaning, so logic told me that it was just a blocked milk duct — especially since my son and I had gone cold turkey (he was totally fine with this, so don’t worry about his future stability). However, my emotional mind wasn’t so sure. Doesn’t breast cancer usually start in a milk duct? Maybe lactating had masked the symptoms. And why now, after ten days of no nursing?

Concerned, I called the lactation consultant at our local hospital. She told me to use a heating pad on my breast, and to self express a little milk to determine if it was a blockage. If the lump persisted for a week, I was supposed to call my doctor immediately. Amazingly, the minute I hung up the phone, my breast started leaking on its own, and the lump gradually shrank until it totally disappeared a couple of days later. It was a blocked milk duct, and the mere power of suggestion got the juices flowing (literally). I dissolved in tears of relief.

This wasn’t a near death experience per se, but I definitely saw my life flash before my eyes. Especially the future experiences yet to share with my husband and boys. So now I’ve resolved to start breast self-examinations and to get my mammograms on schedule. All in all, this turned out to be an even better Christmas present to myself than the weaning of my precious son.

Published on January 20th, 2006 - Leave a Comment
Filed under: Health
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