Mastitis and Blocked Ducts

Posted on June 23, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, simultaneous breast feeding | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The following is general information only.  If you have any questions about any aspect of your health, please consult your physician.

Mastitis and/or Blocked Ducts are obstacles many, but not all, nursing women face once, or maybe several times, while nursing.  Both are caused by babies or pumping not completely draining the breast(s). Here are some ideas on how to handle them.


Is a bacterial infection of the breast that can occur in breastfeeding mothers. It is different from a blocked duct, which has similar symptoms. A blocked duct feels painful, is swollen, red and a mass can usually be felt within the breast. Mastitis has these same symptoms with the addition of fever and greater pain. It is easy to get the two mixed up. The added sign of a fever is the key that it is mastitis. It is important to see a physician if you have fever, breast pain (in one or both breasts) and redness for more than 24 hours, as antibiotics will need to be prescribed. Once antibiotics are prescribed improvement will be noticed within 2-5 days. Continue your course of antibiotics until they are finished or there is a chance the mastitis will return.

You can and should continue to breastfeed.  There is no need to pump and dump. Mastitis does not harm the babies and continuing to breastfeed will speed up the healing process. If you cannot put babies to breast because it is too painful, try pumping as best you can and bottle feed the milk to the babies. This will also help keep your supply up.

Blocked Ducts

These (there may be one or more) can also be very painful, skin becomes “hot” and a lump(s) can be felt when massaging the breast. For treatment of these, hard, deep massage at the point of the clog while baby is breastfeeding can be used. It is painful but the only way to pass the clog is through massage to move it along, and then baby nursing will clear the duct. The released clog will not hurt the baby. There is no need to pump and dump with blocked ducts either.

Some ways to relieve swelling for both Mastitis and Blocked Ducts:

-Heat applied to the affected areas helps healing;                                                                          -Massage in a hot shower;                                                                                                                    -Rest helps with infection;                                                                                                                    -Fever helps fight off infection;                                                                                                          -Medication (aspirin, ibuprofen) for pain can be helpful; and                                                   -Two external ways to help with swelling and hotness, 1) thinly sliced raw potatoes in the bra, and 2) cold cabbage leaves directly from the fridge in the bra helps sooth. Believe it, they work!!




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Should I continue Breastfeeding when I have a cold?

Posted on June 10, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Absolutely!  Breast milk is an amazing liquid and it regularly adjusts itself to you and your babies’ needs.  Further, if one of the babies is sick, do you assign only one breast to that baby or continue to switch them back and forth?  Continue nursing as you normally would.  Rotating babies on both breasts won’t hurt/affect the one who is currently not ill. Your breast milk continues to adjust and provide antibodies which are beneficial to yourself and each of your babies, whether they are sick or not.

For more of the amazing benefits of Mother’s Milk, check out this TED Talk:

What We Don’t Know About Mother’s Milk

Sent from TED app for IOS                                                                                                         

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Gestational length of twins

Posted on May 4, 2017. Filed under: Multiple Birth, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Some of the amazing Mommas on La Leche League’s Twin and Triplet Breastfeeding Facebook page in the U.S. were asking about how long some of the other reader’s had carried their babies.  Here are some of the replies:

35 weeks, 2 days                                                                                                                                   38 weeks, 1 day                                                                                                                                     35 weeks, 5 days                                                                                                                                   38 weeks                                                                                                                                                 37 weeks, 6 days                                                                                                                                   39 weeks, 5 days                                                                                                                                     36 weeks, 6 days                                                                                                                                   37 weeks, 1 day                                                                                                                                     35 weeks                                                                                                                                                   39 weeks, 2 days                                                                                                                                 My own was 40 weeks, 1 day:  Spontaneous labour of 5 and 3/5 hours to the birth of the second twin.  18 minutes apart and no stretch marks, but belly muscles were shot. I needed a tummy tuck.  My singleton children were an 8 hour and 22-hour labours.  Go figure!  LOL   All worth it.


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One Breast is More Productive than the Other

Posted on March 26, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

If at any point you are worried about any aspect of your nursing situation, check things out with a CERTIFIED lactation consultant.  

It is common for women to have one breast which is more productive than the other. There is nothing at all wrong with you if this is the case for you.  The differences in production came be slight to quite dramatic.  There are some strategies for handling the difference.

~one baby can be a better sucker than his sibling(s).  Put this baby on the lower producing breast at a feed so that he can remove as much of the available milk as possible from this breast.  Baby B can go on the other and no doubt take advantage of the simultaneous let down.  Baby A can be transferred to the better producing breast for the rest of the feed when his brother is finished, should he still need to nurse.

~when pumping, use a hospital-grade strength pump.  These, with a stronger motor, are usually not for sale but can often be rented/borrowed from a hospital.  Use the hospital-grade pump for pumping both breasts.

~continue to nurse the babies and/or pump at regular intervals, including through the night as if feeding a baby, keep your fluid levels up and stress levels as lows as possible.  All three of these affect production.


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Posted on March 20, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Some folks are under the impression that a woman cannot get pregnant as long as she is breastfeeding. This is an Old Wives’ Tale. You sure can get pregnant while breastfeeding. Look to other means of birth control should you not wish to get pregnant.

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Posted on March 7, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |


New infants often fall asleep at the breast before their tummies are full. They need to be woken and encouraged to drink further or you will be back at nursing within a half hour or so.

The lactating breast is never “empty.” It is just “less full.” If you pump after nursing, getting 1/4 to 1/2 ounce is good and it all adds up over time.

It is not unusual to have a good sucker and a fussier sucker. Put the good sucker on first when simultaneously feeding and then spend more time adjusting the fussier baby.

Breastfeeding automatically makes Mom thirsty. Make sure you have a cold drink beside you prior to beginning. Hot drinks can be easily knocked over. Don’t take the risk.

Babies suck about 10-12 minutes and then they are full. Nursing for 15 minutes or longer, well, they aren’t really sucking that whole time but more likely enjoying the position, warmth and Mom’s loving arms.

Nursing babies are full when they begin to relax at the breast. A clenched hand may open and gently rest on the breast, face relaxes, mouth opens and baby falls off.

Healthy, nursing babies generally have one dirty diaper plus 5 or 6 very wet ones in 24 hours. That is how you know they are getting enough nourishment.

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Interview of Breastfeeding Twins

Posted on January 2, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Check out the January, 2015 issue of Today’s Parent magazine for information on breastfeeding two babies at once.  An abbreviated version of the article can be found at

Got any breastfeeding twins or triplets questions?  Contact me at   I will see if I can help.

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How long did you breastfeed your babies?

Posted on November 19, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

How long did you exclusively breastfeed your babies?

I have:   twins  _____      triplets   ______

4 months

6 months

10 months

longer _______, how long   ______

anything in between?    _________

Did you supplement with formula at any time?    Yes       No

How old were your babies when you began supplementing?   ________________

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Twin and Baby Tracking App: Jumelle

Posted on November 5, 2014. Filed under: Jumelle Twin Tracking App | Tags: , , , , , , |

Jumelle:  The Best Twin and Baby Tracking App 

Updated:  Quickly and easily keep track of which baby, twin, triplet or quadruplet ate when, how much and for how long.  Also tracks sleeping and dirty/wet diapers habits.  Jumelle The Best Twin and Baby Tracking App has multiple features:

Keep notes on teething, fevers, milestones reached for one baby to 10 babies so it is also perfect for use in a day care setting.

Night light allows for easy night time recording and export feature ensures information is shared with children’s parents and grandparents, out of town parent, physicians.  Loaded with hints, tips, suggestions, solutions!  Don’t struggle to remember, or make a mistake, with which infant, twin, triplet or quadruplet did what.  The Jumelle The Best Twin and Baby Tracking App does it all for you.

Lynda P. Haddon

Multiple Birth Educator




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Breastfeeding in Public Challenges

Posted on April 1, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I wanted to comment on a local news story and was drawn to a halt by the fact that it now seems to be untrue.  I decided to move forward nevertheless because even though this particular story may not be true, it is true that breastfeeding in public can produce quite the negative stir.   At the height of the story, our local CTV news station ran a poll and asked:  “Does breastfeeding in public make you feel uncomfortable?”  While we do not know how many people responded, their gender, age or life’s circumstance (i.e. childless or not), the results were, for myself, surprising:  60% were OK and 40% were “uncomfortable.”  Not that far from half the respondents had “uncomfortable” feelings about seeing a mother breastfeeding her baby.  How sad.  We have a long way to go to be able to publicly breastfeed without judgment, possible negative harassment and shame.  It certainly has been my experience with any breastfeeding woman and baby I have witnessed, Mom has been discrete, calm, only focused on the task at hand and most placed a blanket over baby and her shoulder.  Literally, there was nothing to see or take offence to!!  Recently at a train station, I watched a woman breastfeed her young baby quietly, efficiently and without fanfare or ado.  How anyone could perceive what was going on as “uncomfortable” or offensive is beyond me.   I witnessed love, being available, caring, comfort, gentleness, and necessity.  I have never yet, and I am a senior, been subjected to a nursing woman who made a spectacle of herself, who flaunted or drew unwanted attention to the breastfeeding.  I feel safe in suggesting that if there are any negative feelings they are those felt by the viewer and projected onto the mother, rather than the viewer taking ownership of his or her (yes, some of the negative comments come from women against women) “uncomfortable” feelings.  It would be so helpful if “uncomfortable” viewers would take responsibility for their suspect feelings (and perhaps look at why they feel “uncomfortable” – but that is another story) and focus on a natural, normal occurrence in which the most vulnerable (and our future) in our society are nourished and comforted.  It is as it should be.  I would wonder if those same viewers also make charges against the skimpy outfits and lingerie that society is constantly subjected to in magazines, billboard, TV advertising and shows?
It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words.  I remember seeing a photo several years ago and while I have searched around for it again, I cannot locate a copy of it.  As my recollection goes, Che Guevara  (a politician from Argentina, now deceased) was at a political rally and animately carrying on a conversation with a mother.  Both were staring into each other eyes, focused on making whatever their political point was and, from the body language, not really agreeing with each other.  What was most astounding (by North American standards) and meaningful was that the woman had a toddler at her breast and he was feeding contentedly.   The photo, IMO, was powerfully focused on two people with opposite opinions each intent on making their point and one of them was, incidentally, breastfeeding her baby, a natural and accepted occurrence in Argentina.  There are many areas in the world who are strides ahead of what is be deemed “uncomfortable” in North America.
Here’s an overview of the story which was recently in our local news:
You may have been following the story about the woman in the Ottawa Ikea store who was breastfeeding her 9-month old in the check-out line.  Apparently Mom, her baby and 2-year old and a friend had gone to Ikea, made their selections and at the cash there needed to be a price check.  After some minutes, the little one began to fuss, so Mom, as was usual for them, began to breastfeed to help sooth her baby while they waited for someone to complete their price check.  The story continues that a supervisor came to the mother in line and said to Mom she had would provide the price when she finished her “disgusting” behaviour and “why didn’t she take it to the bathroom as she was holding up the line?”  Both Mom and her friend were taken aback by these nasty comments on nursing her baby and Mom filed a complaint with Ikea as well as went to the press.   As an aside, Mom reports that her 2-year old, whom she was also still nursing, would not nurse that evening as he went to bed and was their ritual.  He cried and said it was “yucky.”  It took some time to settle him that night.
Ikea issued an apology to Mom, offered a gift  pack to the toddler son and stated that women are welcome to breastfeed their babies in any area of their store.  The Ikea employee who made the initial statements has apparently not yet been identified and Ikea was making an effort to track her down.
An update on Ikea’s side of the story:  After extensively reviewing their tapes, Ikea reported being able to identify the mother and her children going through the cash.  She did not breastfeed her child at all, from the tapes, nor engage an employee to do a price check for her.  In short, they feel the alleged altercation did not happen.  Nevertheless, this past Sunday, there was a sit-in at Ikea of about 20 breastfeeding Moms, several of whom stated that the story was not as important as the fact that there are many places in Ottawa were breastfeeding in a public area is not accepted, and this story has raised an important issue so they were taking advantage of the chance to raise the profile of breastfeeding in public.  A couple of Moms noted that Ikea is a welcoming store and they have previously breastfed their baby in the store without incident.
There is a caveat here though:  it is a challenge to breastfeed two babies at a time in public and quite likely that there will be greater breast exposure on Mom’s part.  It could even be a proposed Olympic sport to then place a blanket over two nursing babies when both arms are already full.  Having said all of that, one has to do what one needs to do.  One twin Mom shared that both of her babies were fussing while they were at the mall and she needed to quickly find a quiet place to feed them.  She chose a bench in a corner where she thought they would not be too conspicuous.  She just got both babies latched when an older man “marched over” towards them, mouth set and teeth clenched.  Before he could open his mouth, she reportedly said:  “I’ve got two hungry babies and two breasts – you do the math!”  The fellow backed down, tusked, and walked away.  Mom still felt bullied, picked on and embarrassed.  This type of even wordless guilt trip shouldn’t happen to any nursing mother.
An important issues about simultaneously feeding two babies is that they are safely held and not in any danger of being dropped.  At home it can be easily assured that all is in place to ensure babies are safely held for a simultaneous feed.  In public, there could be a higher anxiety level on the part of Mom regarding feeding two fussy babies, quickly picked up on by the babies, as is their ability, and if this is the case, add to any possible challenges.  Removing yourself to a designated or friendly feeding area of the public space could help everyone relax, ensure babies are held safely and easily fed.  If Mom is self-conscious about having to breastfeed two and the babies begin squirming, they can be a challenge to safely hold.   Do take care.
I would like to offer another piece of advice if I may.  If you are breastfeeding in public and subjected to judgement, criticism or negative posture, try not to argue back in kind.  Responding negatively has the power to escalate the interaction.  Try to keep calm, perhaps look at the person, smile, make some eye contact and smile some more.  Being non-defensive can defuse a situation.  You are the best judge for the situation you are in, but if suitable cut them off – you do not have to listen to mean, nasty judgement or bad language – and quietly ask them to keep their voice down as it is disturbing the babies or you might say you will discuss things with them only when you are finished, now your focus is your babies and you need cooperation.   When the babies are safely finished and back in the stroller, you can then simply walk away.  You are not required to justify your choices, especially to someone who does not feel the need to understand.  The object would be to defuse the interaction so that you and your babies can safely walk away.  Responding may also lead you to say something you will regret or bursting into tears and still not liking how it ended.  Each situation will need to be handled as you see fit, but keeping calm, maybe focusing on the babies feeding and humming to them, will help you get to a time when you can leave.  I sincerely hope that you are not ever faced with anything belligerent.
Do you have any thoughts that you might like to share?  Have you been challenged about breastfeeding in public, even with a singleton?  What did you do?  How did you handle it?  Where did you feed?  Where there any store or mall employees who might have come to your support?  How did you feel if you were challenged?  What do you think would have helped you and your babies to have a more relaxing experience?  If you have a story to share you can reach me at

Reprinted with permission in #14-03:  The MilkyWay, Multiple Births Canada’s Breastfeeding Support Network e-newsletter 


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