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Casein In Breast Milk

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 03:40 PM

I have been breast feeding my daughter for 3 months and have had an unusually high number of clogged milk ducts. I'm drinking Herbalife "Nutritional Shake Mix" and "Ensure" three times daily, both of which list Casein or "Milk Protein Concentrate" as a main ingredient. My question is can this intake of large quantities of Casein make my own breast milk coagulate and clot more easily and therefore lead to this high number of clogged milk ducts? This is an important question for me because I want to continue to breast feed but the clogged ducts, engorgement and resultant Mastitis makes it very painful and difficult. My other question is how much if any Casein might my baby be receiving through my breast milk? Her father has a Gluten and Casein allergy and she has shown some allergic reactions to Cow's milk the couple of times she was unfortunately given formula. Any other ideas on diet and clogged milk ducts are welcomed!
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Posted 12 May 2008 - 04:49 PM

I haven't heard of that. Check out kellymom.com for good breastfeeding advice. When I had clogged ducts it was usually because I wasn't nursing enough or drinking enough water. Good luck with the breastfeeding! My (3rd and last) baby is almost weaned and I have to say I'm actually going to miss nursing!
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Posted 12 May 2008 - 04:58 PM

I am so sorry about the mastitis and the clogged ducts! OUCH! Those can be painful. I don’t have a scientific answer for you. I have no idea about if milk protein makes you more prone to clogged ducts or not. I can only speak from experience. I think that my diet is pretty high in dairy but I have never had a clogged duct. I have had a lot of mastitis though. I think it is because I make a ridiculous amount of milk. There was no way that a little baby could drink the amount I make early on. On the subject of allergic reactions or sensitivity-My oldest son also showed a reaction to cow’s milk that came through my breastmilk. He was colicky and rashy till I took it out of my diet temporarily. I turns out that he IS allergic to cow’s milk- quite severely. We have to carry an Epipen. If I were you I would do a couple of months without any dairy in your diet and see what happens. It may take a few of weeks for your body to clear the casein but you may see a huge improvement. Can’t hurt.
Good Luck!!!

***Have you called a lactation consultant? There is an amazing place near me called The Pump Station. Consultants are willing to answer questions for free: 877-842-7867
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DH positive skin biopsy June 2007
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Gluten Free- since 6-23-07
Vegetarian since 1991

Stay-at-home Mommy to:
Kellen 2-05
Cameron 10-06
Scarlett 5-09



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Posted 12 May 2008 - 07:24 PM

Another thing that can cause mastitis is a too tight fitting bra. Just a thought.
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Posted 15 May 2008 - 09:23 AM

There is some research showign diet related to repeated plugged ducts, particularly high fats and low iron. Lecithin supplements have shown to be helpful in reducing the ducts in these cases. I know several moms that this made a huge difference for. other common causes are tight bras, baby carrier straps, and changes in your nursing pattern which leave milk in the ducts to thicken. Trying to nurse more frequently and use a a pacifier less, if you use one, can sometimes help. I had horrible repeated plugs with my first baby, the lecithin did help, but I also got pretty good at treating them and stopping them from turning into mastitis which is miserable.

A treatment that works for lots of moms is heat, as hot as you can stand, on the plug. AFter heating it, massage, ro hand express from behind the plug all the way down to the nipple, essentially trying to express the plug. sometimes the milk can look yellowish or thickend and stringy, which is safe for the baby if a little yucky. For heat I liked to use a rice sock--a cup of rice in a sock, knot the top, and microwave it until hot. I had a big one, and a little one made from less rice in a toddler sock which I could tuck into my bra. Also trying to position the baby so his nose in facing the plug increases the suction over that duct. That's in my books, can't say I was always able to try it. required some nursing gymnastics at times.

I hope your issue resolves, I think with my son they got much better aroudn 4-5 months, and I'm really glad I didn't give up, though some nights with mastitis were miserable.

Good Luck,

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 02:24 PM

I nursed my daughter for a little over a year and typically my causes for blocked ducks (the 3 times I had them) were from nursing in the same position all the time. Once I switched it up for feedings I didn't have a problem anymore. I was told the more positions you use and making sure you have nursed completely (the baby has drained you) the less likely you are to have clogs.

Are you nursing in different positions:
Side laying
Sitting in a chair feet/legs across from you
Sitting in a chair feet/legs along your side .
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