A Potato Saved My Life

Ok, so it may be a bit dramatic to say a potato saved my life, but if you’ve ever had a clogged milk duct you understand the exaggeration.This trick I discovered is priceless and I want every breastfeeding mama to know the power of the potato!!

A couple of weeks ago, my husband was out of town, my children were as lively and wild as always, and I had a fever. Saturday morning I woke up so weak I was afraid to walk down the stairs holding Abraham. My breasts had began to get warm and there was pain on my left breast leading up into my armpit. I had a spouses coffee that morning where friends offered to drive me home in fear I wasn’t capable of doing it on my own. This duct was taking me down quickly and harshly.

Now, with my daughter I would occasionally get a clog on the top of the breast that I could feel and rub out while pumping or nursing. This wasn’t like that. It was deep enough that I could not pinpoint the location and I really think it could have been in multiple places. Nonetheless, I took a hot bath, ran hot water on it, used a heating pad, rubbed lavender oil on it and applied pressure and rubbing while nursing and pumping. It had been 3 days, my milk supply was decreasing and I had tried everything I could think of when it hit me: I read to put a potato on a sty I had on my eye one time nearly 10 years ago! That’s a clogged duct of sorts so I should try a potato. You probably know by now if it won’t hurt, but could help, I’m willing to try it! So I wouldn’t have to wrangle two kids into the store, I asked a friend to pick up a potato for me. She kindly dropped it off in my mailbox with some Easter egg Reese’s and Monday afternoon I gave it a go.

I cut the potato into a few slices and placed one directly on top of the clog in my bra. A few hours later I replaced it with a fresh slice. I repeated this for the rest of the day until I went to bed. I then slept with a slice applied. Tuesday morning I woke up healed. I kid you not: no fever, no pain, no clog!!

a potato saved my life || a flight suit fairytale

Yes, indeed, a potato saved my life! I do not know how I could have continued effectively taking care of my children and doing mundane daily tasks on the verge of mastitis. I know women who have claimed it to be worse than the flu; even the worst pain they have ever experienced. While this had not progressed to that point, I was weak and rapidly losing strength by the minute.

a potato saved my life || a flight suit fairytale
I took this photo in hopes of sharing a story of finding strength during a time of weakness. I was vulnerable, scared and felt like I was failing as a mother.

The Moral of the Story:

In this time of need it wasn’t the potato. It was the people who were there for me: the friend who brought me the potato; the teacher who did not know I was sick but was led to message me Sunday night and offer for Avera to attend school extra days; and the friends that had their own kids and absent husbands who offered to bring me meals, take Avera for the day or drive me home. It is times like this when I am reminded of the strength we have in each other as women and as military spouses. I am blessed to know them and call them friends.