Social icons

I was sitting at my desk yesterday, minding my own business when I reached for a cup of tea, brushed against my chest and suddenly my head was screaming “SWEET MOTHER OF MERCY, WHAT THE HELL?!?”

For the second time in as many weeks, I was the proud owner of a blocked milk duct. Actually it may be mastitis, I'm never exactly sure of the difference because every site you read seems to have a slightly different definition. 

I just know one involves your boob falling off and I don’t have that one. 

I have the one where you feel like you have the single biggest pimple of your life throbbing away and no matter what you do, the fucker won’t pop.

I have the one where the cause and effect of a teething baby means you end up with far too much milk at exactly the wrong time of day and half an hour later your entire ductal system is in meltdown and I'm craving cabbage leaves.

Not to eat, to stick down my bra. Because that sounds much less crazy.

I have learned through trial and error that there are a few things that work for me, and many, many that make no difference at all.

Top of that list would be stick on toe warmers. What? There was logic. I was sitting in an office needing something warm and discrete to help with the throbbing. On the face of it they were the perfect solution; until I found out that they burn with the heat of a thousand suns. You don’t have to believe me when I say it was not a pleasant experience, but for the love of all that is holy don’t make the same mistake I did unless you think third degree burns are a good look. 

Hot showers don’t solve the problem, although they give me a few blissful moments when I'm not in pain. I distract myself by catching up with the shaving I usually run out of time to finish in the five minutes between turning on the water and someone raising merry hell. There is a reason I wear trousers during the week, and that is because I can’t stand the pitying looks when people notice I only have one shaved leg. 

Cabbages leaves help with the pressure, but have the disadvantage that I smell faintly of old lady fart. If I don’t keep a close watch for wandering leaves I'm also left with the toe curling moment when I realise I've been talking to my boss with a little bit of foliage peeking out above my top. If this happens to you, my advice is style it out. Chances are your boss won’t know whether or not the cool kids are all wearing vegetables in their underwear and frankly they’re not going to want to Google “vegetables in underwear” during work time to find out.

By Robek (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

In actual fact the only thing that has worked well for me has been nursing the blockage out. This works less well for Miss Olive who is a creature of habit when it comes to feeding: Unless she is teething in which case all bets are off and we’ll be up all night feeding until I paw feebly at Keith to bring me water and an ice pack. 

Either way, I figure that since she is the cause of the horrendous pain I'm experiencing it’s only right she take one for the team and help fix the situation. So we nurse. Lots. 

We nurse until she rolls off in a milk drunk stupor. 

We nurse until she refuses to latch on and blows raspberries instead. 

We nurse until she gets FED UP and starts smacking me in the face at the sight of me unclipping my top. 

And when she’s asleep and I think I can get away with some more nursing I sneak out her dummy, wait until she is making goldfish faces and latch her on instead. 

Usually this makes her sigh; as if nursing were her biggest chore and she were doing me a huge favour. Sometimes there is a brief eye open and a look that says “Fine. But whoever is in charge of poop control tomorrow is going to regret this”.

Frankly I don’t care, both because that person is never me and also because there is no poop worse than the feeling of a blocked duct.

By this morning Miss Olive had once again worked her magic and although I did have to deal with an unholy amount of poop at 4am, I am now blockage free. 

Because life as a working nursing mama is fun like that.


What awesome tricks am I missing both to keep the blocked ducts away and to treat them? Are there any granny remedies that I need in my life to stop the tidal wave of poop?

The Maybe Diaries was shortlisted for a Brilliance in Blogging 2014 Inspire Award. 
Thank you SO MUCH for your support.


  1. Brilliantly written, humorous and my non-milk laiden boobs started to come out in sore sympathy.

    The only time I've experienced burning agony was from an inflamed breast cyst, sheer hell, while you wait for the antibiotics to kick in and deal, and a nice big red patch! Have seen my cousin with mastitis trying to feed her baby daughter, crying with the pain of it, and eventually having to give up until things had healed.

    1. That must have been a nightmare. At least for me there's something I can do to try and make it better. It was a bit like passing the kidney stone when I was pregnant with Olive, it was worse than the pain of contractions because it was "useless" pain, if that makes any sense?

  2. It does make sense, because you just have to wait it out until something works to give relief.


I am all about the friendly conversation so I would love you to leave me your thoughts. I will look after them, promise, and I will always reply because nobody wants a lonely comment.

If you want to have more occasionally amusing conversations in your life, you can always sign up to receive my posts direct to your mailbox.

Powered by Blogger.