Good Vibrations, Breastfeeding Edition

You don't realize just how much your boobs have personalities until you have a baby. I certainly didn't. Within a few weeks of popping out the kiddo, however, it became abundantly clear that Hefty Lefty was a take-no-shit kinda gal who was happy to do what was necessary to ensure her comfort (namely, leaking excessively). Mighty Righty, on the other hand, has proven to be one stubborn mofo. What she produces, she holds, often to her detriment.

Mighty Righty's stubborness reached critical mass in early September, when she suffered several episodes of plugged duct syndrome (aka making me miserable syndrome). If Baby A failed to sufficiently empty MR, ducts quickly became clogged, resulting in the upper outside quadrant turning into a milk-filled brick.

After several episodes of this, I finally conceded defeat and decided to go see the midwives. During my visit, I received two meaningful pieces of advice: (1) take Lecithin, lots of Lecithin; and (2) use a vibrating toothbrush on the plugged duct.

The second piece of advice was given with a heavy winkwink nudgenudge. "Vibrating toothbrush" was, in no uncertain terms, a very politically correct way of saying "vibrating device," as evidenced by the follow-up recommendation that a vibrating toothbrush is "good for use when pumping at the office" (wink). You can see where this is going.

Anyway ... in the weeks since the midwife visit, I've found Lecithin to be very effective in preventing clogged ducts, but I'm an idiot, and so I've recently started tapering down the dose. The result? Last night at about 3:45am, I woke up to a squirming baby and a plugged duct roughly the size of the Hoover Dam. Fun times. After a few minutes of furtive nursing on the part of Baby A, it became clear that poor Mighty Righty was going to need more assistance than Avery could provide. The options were (a) get in a very hot shower at 4am or (b) pull out a vibrating "toothbrush." I chose the latter.

Now, lest you think I'm a terrible mother and placed the "toothbrush" next to my child's face, I did not. I entertained my child with a baby iPhone app (okay, admittedly a parenting fail ... kinda), while I pumped and held the vibrating... toothbrush... next to the plugged duct. Lo and behold, after 10 minutes, plus a further assist from Baby A, the duct cleared. Mercy. Now I just have to find a suitably-sized Brookstone "neck massage device" to take with me to the office, just in case :-)


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