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One of the reasons why mothers go to a lactation consultation is due to the sudden appearance of milk pearls. The milk pearl is a small, shiny, pearly white spot that appears on the mother's nipple. The normal thing is that it inflates and is more evident when the baby suckles and then deflates, taking the appearance of a whitish skin.
Milk pearls are very painful, women refer to it as a very penetrating burning sting, and sharp. It is important that despite being very annoying, in themselves they are not serious, however, if they are not treated or are not resolved, they can trigger more serious problems.
They are simply clogged milk outlet ducts. These whiteheads can be of traumatic origin (the most common produced when the baby closes his mouth tightly and pulls his head back, or when he tries to follow someone passing or see what is happening around him without letting go of the breast) . We will know that it is a pearl of traumatic origin because there is a clear cause-effect relationship.
However, most of the time the pearls are caused by a microbial alteration of the breast or subacute mastitis (they are mastitis that do not give typical symptoms: fever, pain in one quadrant of the breast, or redness):
Pathogenic bacteria have the ability to form biofilms, that is, to adhere to the ducts and together with traces of calcium to plug them. So these types of white dots are ultimately bacteria-coated calcium matrices.
The normal thing is that from when the white point appears, until a small scab forms, and then it comes off itself, 5 to 7 days pass. And it is the baby who, through his suction, makes this pearl of milk disappear.
When the cause is traumatic and the point is very external, heat can be applied, then the superficial layer of skin can be lifted with a sterile needle and pressed to drain the obstructed duct, then the baby is placed on the breast and allowed to be he himself is to finish emptying that conduit.
Bacterial milk pearls tend to be deeper and affect the entire duct, so that what appears "is only the tip of the iceberg", in these cases pricking them does not usually solve the problem, and many times it causes more pain and inflammation.
With what the most advisable thing is to go to the midwife's consultation, where I will probably recommend you take specific probiotics for breastfeeding that usually work very well to solve these cases. And follow up, in case more complications arise.
You can read more articles similar to Milk beads or whiteheads on the nipple during breastfeeding, in the category of On-site breastfeeding.