Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Encouraging Galactocele Update
I look around each day, wondering how time can go by so quickly. The baby who was nursing during the time of experiencing an enlarged galactocele is now on the verge of turning 5-years-old.
Since the galactocele was basically a non-issue these last couple years, even though I could feel something there still, I hadn't given it much thought. Becoming pregnant with our newest member of the family, I thought the galactocele was beginning to grow again. Looking back, I believe it was just naturally occurring breast tenderness; changes due to pregnancy and hormones. This baby was born at the end of last summer and 6 months later is nursing great! And...I can't feel anything in that area anymore!
I am truly thankful and feel immensely blessed. We had two miscarriages between our 5-year-old and our now 6-month-old. Knowing our wee babies are in the loving arms of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, has helped ease the pain of their passing into their eternal home. We know we will see them again! There were days of incredible sorrow but we look ahead to snuggling their cuddly selves.
There were days I questioned how I would nurse through the same galactocele issues with these last three pregnancies, but thanks be to God; no more galactocele! I'm learning to let go of stressful situations before they develop. God's Word and prayer have been constant reminders of God's faithfulness no matter what the situation.
Obviously, there is no guarantee for any woman that she won't develop a galactocele or have one develop again. That brings me to preventative measures. Nothing listed here is obsessive in nature, rather based on knowledge of what has helped in the past and reading more about the importance of nutrition. Think of these as "simple solutions". Many I implemented while dealing with the original galactocele and have kept them up. Can I say for a fact that any one or multiples of these got rid of the large galactocele I had? No. However, I know that certain supplements did reduce the pain and swelling.
I'm sure there are many of these that you are trying/have tried already, but here is my list:
~ Wobenzym N - reduces inflammation (and more) - made noticeable reduction in swelling/pain; I still take this daily. My husband also takes this (and probiotics) due to years of hockey abuse his knees have taken; works great!
~ Garden of Life Primal Defense - probiotic/HSO's
~ Dr. Mercola Probiotic (usually take 1 of these with 1 of Primal Defense in morning)
~ Garden of Life Prenatal Vitamins - have been using for years.
~ Garden of Life Organic Prenatal Vitamins - haven't tried these yet but just switching to this new product this month to see how they compare. Amazon had a coupon. :)
~ Garden of Life Raw D3 5000IU - we live up north and I can only dream of more sunlight; lab draws have shown me deficient in vitamin D.
~ Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil - for now, I've switched to their Skate Liver Oil due to a baby with dairy issues but our children continue to take this.
~ Radiant Life Dessicated Liver - for me and kids, although I love liver & onions so if grassfed liver is available I love to just eat it. Yum! :)
(Amazon links are affiliate links only because they're products I use and recommend)
~ Pao D'Arco - used this as an anti-inflammatory. I would steep it as a loose-leaf tea once in awhile when I was really engorged. It can also be purchased in capsule form. This helped quite a bit but I had to monitor my milk supply as too much will reduce milk. Think of it working like a decongestant.
~ Sunflower Lecithin (NOT soy-based lecithin) ~ reduces "stickiness" of milk. When I did have an aspiration, the milk was like a sticky mass of Elmer's white glue. Ick! I no longer take this, but did while dealing with the galactocele once I realized it could help in that area.
~ Phytolacca Decandra 30C - was taking 5 pellets per day while dealing with galactocele.
~ go bra-less as often as possible (My only option for this is while at home but some women are able to go modestly without anywhere)
~ when you do wear a bra, NO underwire
~ get as much natural sunlight as possible for optimal vitamin D
~ try not to sleep on your stomach
~ avoid tight-fitting swimsuit, bra, etc. - anything that isn't allowing your breasts to "breathe"/lymphatic system to drain
~ avoid stress (easier said than done at times...I get it)
~ do your best to remove (preferably eliminate) processed foods
~ lots of vegetables
~ avoid soy (acts like estrogen)
~ limit sugar and grains (which I haven't done so well with ever since Christmas...)
~ organic when possible/avoid chemical pesticides & herbicides
~ learn to make fermented/probiotic rich foods -- I am still learning but I'm here to tell you that making your own sauerkraut, milk kefir, buttermilk, and water kefir are very easy! I'll try to write a post about those. In the meantime, you can make a one-time purchase of the last three starter cultures from www.culturesforhealth.com. The cultures multiply and/or are activated initially so that you can continue to use them indefinitely. You could also get a starter culture for veggies there if interested. I've made sauerkraut with that and also with a starter of whey and salt.
More Common Sense:
~ nurse galactocele side first
~ don't assume draining will be a cure-all. For most, this only works when baby has weaned. Otherwise, duct is still plugged and will refill. I felt like a clinical experiment during this process. None of the doctors I saw had seen such a large galactocele...nor did they know what to do about it.
~ it was a struggle and often painful but I was able to continue nursing even when told that stopping might be the only resolution.
~ if you do switch to formula, don't lay a guilt-trip on yourself (just don't choose soy, please!)
~ massage/warm showers/warm compress
~ sleep (definitely easier said than done say I, the mother of a baby who still frequently wakes up at night!)
I'd love to hear your stories and thoughts in the comments section. If you're dealing with a galacocele right now, be sure to read my older galactocele posts and the comments sections too. There are many women looking for answers but there is seemingly little information available. Hopefully our stories can help each other out as we look for solutions. God bless!