A bleb is a white (or clear, or yellow) spot or a blister on the surface of a nipple pore. A little bit of skin can grow over the top of the opening of a milk duct, causing the milk to back up behind the blocked pore. Blebs can hang around for weeks and be quite painful when feeding.
It is important for a bleb to be treated effectively, as they can prevent good drainage of the breast and result in blocked ducts or mastitis. Your baby is the best treatment for a bleb! They will do the best job of draining the breast and in lots of cases, the suction they create while breastfeeding will pop the blister spontaneously.
Sometimes, your breast may need a bit more help to get rid of the blister.
Common alternative or additional treatment of a milk bleb includes:
It’s a good idea to keep feeding or pumping after a blister has popped to make sure the breast is fully drained.
A blocked duct with a bleb is often widespread, covering a decent part or almost the whole breast. There may already be a raised spot on the nipple, or signs of nipple damage.
When you have a bleb and blockage, you usually DON’T have a fever, or any other flu-like symptoms. The breast is not usually red, but it may be tender to touch and feel firm, possibly engorged.
We use low intensity pulsed ultrasound to mobilise the milk sitting in that portion of the breast. We will also show you how to massage toward the nipple or to build pressure to assist with popping the bleb. Some focused massage right around the nipple and areola may help to break down scar tissue around recurrent bleb site. We also have plenty of relevant contacts to refer you to if you need some further assistance with breastfeeding challenges.