One Thing Women Don’t Think They’ll Have To Worry About….

…until they do.

In this day and age, when everything is a hazard to your health, your health is never an exact guarantee. I believe women in particular are more exposed to more health hazards. We put things in our scalp, on our skin(sometimes SEVERAL different things), put things in and around our vaginas, and ingest things that are said to be good for us by medical establishments, for various reasons.

I am now a victim of commercial and mainstream consumption. I have a mammary fibroid from hormonal birth control. Called a Fibroadenoma. It most often occurs in women 35 years and older, but also in women that take hormonal birth control and once the fibroid is there, it is exacerbated and grows most when pregnant, breastfeeding or during menopause.

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 12.39.40 PM

In my case, I noticed a small pea sized lump in my breast in October or November of 2010 a couple months after starting the Ortho Evra birth control patch. It did what it was “supposed to do”, but it also caused an abnormal growth in my right breast. I didn’t think anything of it, until after I became pregnant with my second son in February 2011 and it began to grow. I tentatively asked my nurse practitioner and she said she didn’t know.

When I delivered my son in November 2011, my milk came in 3 days later. Everything happening normally. Until I developed a clogged duct, where the fibroid sat, right at my areola and I developed mastitis. It took a week to resolve itself and until then, it was very painful to breastfeed. Toe-curling pain at every latch.

The fibroid stayed about the same size for the 23 months I nursed my son. But when I became pregnant again in October 2013, it started growing once again rapidly. Now, at 28 weeks pregnant, it is about the size of 1.5 golf balls and I’m very worried about my upcoming breastfeeding relationship with my little girl that will make her appearance in June or July.

Ultrasound image of fibroadenoma
Ultrasound image of fibroadenoma

I had my provider look at the lump and we’ve scheduled a mammary ultrasound for the end of next week and I will see a doctor in the next two days. The future is very uncertain as I know wether it is removed or not there will be a lot of pain in the near future. I am pushing for removal before the baby comes to avoid another clogged duct and an even worse mastitis infection.

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 12.41.38 PM
Removed fibroadenoma

Removal might also mean that my milk ducts in my right breast will be severed, as the fibroid is right at the surface of my breast where the areola is. Normally, when they are removed they take extra tissue to ensure they’ve gotten all of the growth. It’s attached to or around a milk gland or duct so I know that will be removed as well, so having it sucked out by a needle isn’t an option.

I’m very unsettled by the thought of needing this removal and not having adequate supply for my daughter and very unsettled by the thought of being turned away for a removal procedure because I know what not removing it will lead to.

What are your experiences with this, if any? One with low supply due to any type of tissue removal?

Just a video of me explaining this whole ordeal:

And a video, showing what a mammary fibroid looks like on the outside:

15 thoughts on “One Thing Women Don’t Think They’ll Have To Worry About….

  1. You can easly feed with just with one breast, women have twins or triplets and they make fine with breastfeeding

  2. Please tell her that although having the fibroid removed from the right breast may impact her milk supply on that one side, it should not affect her left side. Her body should compensate for that and she may be only to feed her baby from one side – sufficiently without any other problems. Right sided milk production will be unknown until she starts nursing. Do not let any surgeon tell you otherwise! Good luck momma!!

  3. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this at a time that should only be filled with excitement. But I thought you should know it is very possible to nourish your baby from just one breast, if it should come to be a need. In fact, I have nursed my first baby on just my left breast for nearly two years now, and added another baby 4 months ago. My toddler nurses 3-4 times a day in addition to the baby who is exclusively breastfed. It’s not easy, and none of my clothes fit well bc of lopsidedness, but it’s worth it to know my girls have the perfect food. (Just a note: I’m not trying to toot my own horn or say I’m better than anyone else. My only purpose is to share my experience with you.) I would encourage you to get in touch with a IBCLC lactation consultant or LLL counselor as soon as you know what will be happening. My prayers are with you and your family for a speedy resolution.

  4. A friend of mine just told me yesterday that she didn’t have enough supply for her son and she thinks it’s because she had a breast reduction in 04′ I think since it’s just one side you should be fine on supply. I have a friend who exclusively breastfed off of just one side and pumped on the other. Pumping doesn’t produce as much as actual nursing. So, if you are able to have that removed, I think your supply on that side might just be less than the other. You should still be able to nurse your daughter though :) I sure hope they remove that for you. I had a clogged duct and mastitis too and I know exactly what you mean by the pain it causes. It lasted I think 10 days. I couldn’t imagine having a growth there too. I pray that all works out for you and thank you for sharing your story. Birth control caused me to have gallbladder disease. So I had to have it removed. Then I tried birth control again and it made my son sick through my milk so I quit nursing him at 18 months. This time around I refused birth control. No reason to put myself or my son through anything like that. Again, prayers are with you :)

  5. I also went through this when I was 17, finding that first lump. After my first pregnancy 3 years later, and breastfeeding it got larger and 3 more appeared. They were all in my right breast, just at the top of my areola. I had them removed 13 pp surgically, which happened to be 3 months before I became pregnant again. I did get mastitis within a week of my second being born in that same general area, but have had no problem since. We actually have had a great milk supply our entire time breastfeeding(14 months strong), as I sit here writing I’m at work pumping lol. We had had enough milk that I’ve donated over 1000 bags! Hope that helps settle your concerns! I know everyone is different, but wish you the best of luck! :)

  6. I had this exact same situation!! I had a fibroid that wasn’t an issue for many years- I had it checked and biopsied regularly. Then, during my first pregnancy and breastfeeding, it got so large and painful I had to have it removed when my first son was 3 months old. It was an outpatient procedure at the hospital, and recovery was fairly easy. I was able to nurse my son not long after despite the stitches and bandages. I had no supply issues afterwards (I even took fenugreek and ate lactation cookies to be sure…), and thankfully ended up nursing my first son until he was 2. I am now 7 weeks postpartum with my second son, and have had no issues whatsoever. Best wishes to you- please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

  7. I don’t think you have to worry about milk supply, even if the right breast stops producing. Breasts are great about supply and demand individually. You may have more early latching pain in the left breast for the first couple of weeks, but can probably overcome that if it gets too much by so feeding expressed milk (or using a dropper, worked for my son).

  8. I’m so sorry this happened, I don’t personally have any experience here, but I wanted to say that if you do opt for removal and aren’t able to produce from that side, it is still possible to nurse from one breast. A good family friend lost a breast to cancer, but was able to exclusively nurse her ADOPTED son from her one remaining breast. Stay strong momma, your body is an amazing thing and is more than capable. Breast feeding is 90% determination and 10% supply.

  9. I have a number of fibroadenomas, but luckily they didn’t seem to change during pregnancy or lactation. My largest is about the size of a Brazil nut. When I saw a specialist he said they don’t tend to operate unless they are tennis ball size :-/ good luck!

  10. Since what you’re going through is beyond my scope of physical expertise,I would like at least to be able to contribute in the role of messenger, leading you to some knowledge via this link. I know it is lengthy, but this Dr. has been helping many people reverse their ailments naturally. I have watched this numerous times and she does go into breast tumors, mammograms and ultra sound. So before you show up for that appointment I would strongly advise you to listen to this, and see if you can’t reach her or an associate who can give you the info you need to reverse this naturally without toxic side effects.I will say a prayer for you also. Love Light and healing your way.

  11. I also forgot to mention turmeric. I have heard of many women dissolving breast tumors and reversing cancer with this amazing spice. You want to get it in a capsule form to get a high enough dose of the active ingredient curcumin. I have a friend who reversed her cancer by going on a strict organic vegan diet, leaving out all dairy. i have also been on this diet myself for 15 years. I’m doing great with it.and have a lot of energy for my age and have never been hospitalized for a chronic illness. Saunas are also a way to help you detox, via the skin.

  12. Hi there! Sorry to hear what you’re going through, it does sound very similar to what I’m going through just now but I just wanted to tell you there’s light at the end of the tunnel regarding breastfeeding again! I found my lump when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2012, it was pretty big by the time I noticed it and it stayed throughout our breastfeeding journey, causing mastitis every few weeks. The docs did a biopsy in 2013 once I’d finished but the lump had shrunk to a teeny pea size and the results were inconclusive. I am pregnant again and the lump is enormous, and became so straight away! I had a scan and a biopsy last week and it was measuring 6.5cm by 5.5cm which in my tiny boobs seems huge! I haven’t had the results back yet from biopsy but consultant is pretty sure it’s a Fibroadenoma just like yours, which he is going to remove 2 weeks after baby is due (so I can’t go over my dates!) I’ve due on the 21st of May and have already spoken to a breastfeeding consultant, she was really positive about the op, doesn’t seem to think it will pose a massive problem. She will come to see me once baby is born but has reminded me that the first 48hours after birth are the most important regarding building up supply, eg lots of skin to skin and hand expressing if the baby’s a sleepy one. I was concerned about expressing and then using bottle with new baby as my I tried that with my daughter & we then had latching on problems. So I will prob freeze milk put it in a wee cup and tip it into new baby’s mouth. But the great news is that she has had women who only have one breast manage to feed and sustain a baby, and a few ladies who have had this op and managed to feed on the same day. I just need to make sure that any drugs I’m given are baby friendly and the incision is not on my nipple. I had no idea that this could’ve been caused by the pill, that’s pretty scary!

  13. So sorry to hear about your troubles! I’ll be praying that you get the removal you need without it affecting your ducts. However, rest assured, even if some of your ducts are severed It’s very likely you will be able to produce adequate amounts of milk for your new baby, even if it’s just from one breast your body will be able to compensate. Women who’ve had single mastectomies have been able to produce adequate milk from one breast! Hook up with your local chapter of La Leche League and surround yourself with loving, knowledgeable support. You can do it!

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