Clogged milk ducts

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by Erica, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. Erica

    Erica Amity's Focus Member

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    ouch! I'm massaging and applying heat and letting her nurse as much as possible....but I still feel lumps and they hurt


    any other advice aside from massaging?
  2. freedomlover

    freedomlover ReaderOfThreads

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    What worked for me was also taking hot showers (heat, I know)

    and not wearing a bra (it helped let it leak more freely!) Just wear a soft cotton knit shirt and you can pin a prefold in it to help collect leakage.

    Leakage is a good thing to aim for when you have a clogged duct!
  3. countrygal

    countrygal Guest

    Try nursing "on all fours" with your breast hanging down and the baby under you. I think that this position helps gravity to do its job!

    Good luck!

    --Christine
  4. treecitydiapers

    treecitydiapers New Member

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    Point the baby's nose in the direction of the clog... that will help pull the milk out cause the sucking will be stronger that way. It takes creative nursing positions but it does help. Also massage and heat while nursing.

    Take care of yourself mama.... plugged ducts can get very nasty!
  5. Susannah

    Susannah New Member

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    Nurse with Ellery's chin pointing toward the clogged area.
    Hot vinegar packs.
    Cabbage leaves.
    Extra C and calcium.
    LOTS of water.
    LOTS of rest.
    LOTS of nursing.
    I totally agree with going braless, using towels or folded sheets to catch any excess milk.
  6. Susannah

    Susannah New Member

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    Ask Dr. Sears.com

    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/T022100.asp

    PLUGGED MILK DUCTS
    Sometimes a milk duct leading from the milk-making cells to the nipple gets plugged, resulting in a tender lump beneath the areola. There may also be a wedge-shaped area of redness extending from the lump back towards the wall of the chest. Unlike mastitis, the pain comes and goes with a plugged duct, and unless the duct is infected, you will not feel generally ill. If left untreated, however, a plugged duct may become infected, resulting in mastitis, infection, or a breast abscess.

    To unplug the duct and prevent subsequent infection, try these suggestions:

    Continue to breastfeed on the affected side. By any means, get the milk out! This is the golden rule of preventing engorgement, plugged ducts, and mastitis. Use a breast pump or hand expression if baby is unwilling to nurse.

    Breastfeed on the affected side first. Baby's sucking is strongest at the beginning of the feed, so he is more likely to dislodge the plug when he starts on the affected breast.

    Vary the baby's position at the breast, so that all of the milk ducts are drained. Be sure the baby is latched-on well, so that he can nurse efficiently. Try the clutch hold or side-lying position. Before each feeding, massage the affected area by kneading your breast gently from the top of the breast down over the plugged duct toward the nipple.

    Drain the affected breast better by positioning baby so his chin "points" to the area that is sore. For example, if the lump is around 4 o'clock, use the clutch-hold and position baby's chin around this point on the nipple clock. The lower jaw is often most effective at getting milk out of the breast.

    Apply moist heat compresses for a few minutes before feeding or pumping, or soak the affected breast in warm water or in the shower as described under Engorgement

    Rest. Lie down with the baby and nap-nurse.

    If you notice a small, white dot at the end of the milk duct on your nipple, that is the end of a plugged nipple opening. Apply moist heat on this white blister and with a sterile needle gently pop the blister. If this pore stays plugged, it could block milk drainage and lead to a plugged duct and mastitis.

    Try a pressure massage on the area of your breast that is swollen and painful because of a plugged duct. This may help to loosen the plug. With pressure massage, you do not actually move your hand over the skin as you would with a normal massage. You simply press more and more firmly with the heel of your hand to move the plug in the duct down closer to the nipple.

    To do pressure massage, start at the edge of the lumpy area closest to your chest wall. Apply pressure to that area with the heel of your hand to the point just before it becomes too painful. Hold the pressure at that level until the pain eases off. Then increase the pressure again, (without moving your hand) and hold it until the pain eases. Continue to gradually increase pressure at that same site until you are pressing as hard as you can. Then pick your hand up, move it down toward your nipple about a half inch, and repeat the pressure massage in this area. Continue moving your hand a half inch and repeating the massage until you get all the way down to the nipple.

    You may see the dried milk come out from an opening in your nipple. Even if the plug doesn't actually come out, you will at least have dislodged it and moved it toward the nipple so that when baby goes to the breast and sucks, he will remove it with his suction. Always put baby to the breast on the plugged side first, when his sucking will be the strongest.

    PREVENTING PLUGGED DUCTS FROM RECURRING
    To prevent plugged ducts, feed baby in different positions with his nose pointing "around the nipple clock," so that you empty all the milk sinuses and ducts.
    Studies have shown that taking a tablespoon a day of oral granular lecithin or a capsule of 1,200 mg lecithin capsule three to four times a day is helpful in preventing and treating plugged milk ducts.
  7. Erica

    Erica Amity's Focus Member

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    holding E

    thanks!

    i guess i'm clogged because that side happens to have an excruciatingly painful crack.....i think i skipped a feeding....darn!

    will try the ideas...thanks
  8. Starleigh

    Starleigh New Member

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    ooooo watch out... you gotta keep using that side.. I got mastitis from going easy on me sore side... not fun...


    Oh, and that dangle nursing really works.. that's how I finally got that side unclogged...
  9. EMTonya

    EMTonya learning....click...

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    i pumped (on lowest setting) when it hurt too much to breastfeed......just until it let up.
    nak
  10. Vanity Fair

    Vanity Fair Amity's Focus Member

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    Cabbage leaves could seriously decrease your milk supply, I wouldn't suggest it at this stage personally...

    But, I had plugged ducts a couple of times a week when DS was very small and mastitis a couple of times when I couldn't clear the duct. What worked for me was massage in warm shower, LOTS of nursing, I offered it as much as possible because baby's suck is GREAT suction. Just be consistent, don't let it turn into mastitis, that can be quite painful.
  11. Vanity Fair

    Vanity Fair Amity's Focus Member

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    Oh, and sometimes it would hurt the worst while nursing when the plug was passing through the opening, but once it was clear, relief! I guess sort of like childbirth, lol. Sometimes, it would just come shooting out in the shower with massage and gentle squeezing...once you get the plug out, be sure to nurse a ton, too. I could always tell when it was cleared by DS because he would start sputtering on milk when it came rushing like a dam!
  12. sweetccts

    sweetccts New Member

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    OUCH

    Ive nursed 3 kids and never have I hurt this bad! My daughter will be 1 next week and now I get a clogged milk duct just as im weaning her. She doesnt nusre like she use to do im not sure shes going to do me any good. Im trying everything I can to unclog it but i must be doing somethimg wrong. Shes reallt picky about the position she lays in to nurse. I cant get her out of the cradle position. The clog is about 11 o'clock position so in order to put the chim there i would have to have her feet at my head...lol. I am definatly afraid of mastitus...I woke up this morning a little drained feeling I hope its not infecting :( Well if anyone else has some way to help me please let me know :)

    Thank you
  13. Kateg1

    Kateg1 Guest

    I took a hot shower and massaged and soaked the breast by leaning over a very warm bowl of water, when this happened to me. It was the only thing to work. It had hurt so bad I felt like I would pass out. once I soaked it and massaged and fed it went away.

    Good luck
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2005
  14. Erica

    Erica Amity's Focus Member

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    funny this thread got bumped cause I recently had a clogged duct. man it hurt! I just kept nursing on the side exclusively and it cleared up in two days....oh and I took a few Lecithin
  15. gabwife

    gabwife New Member

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    I was on a nursing fourum a few years ago and the moms told each other about how they would hop in a hot shower with a wide toothed comb and "comb-over" the aria that hurt.They would all report great sucess with that added to all the other things you are trying.The fourum went thru a long time of thrush and plugged ducts that year.I hope you get well soon.
  16. sweetccts

    sweetccts New Member

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    Thank you

    It is getting a little better this evening. Not half as painfull as it was this morning. Man this stuff stinks:) Ant hints on weaning a stubborn 1 year old:) This is going to be tough.

    Thank you
  17. mom2tig99Nroo03

    mom2tig99Nroo03 MamaBearishFireman'sFlame

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    i'd suggest slowing down on the weaning stuff. plugged ducts is one of the obvious signs of going too fast, and if it is tough on the lil one, that would also be a cue to do it more slowly, unless you really feel that she needs to be weaned already. are you having some health problems that are necessitating weaning, or is it just societal pressure?
  18. sweetccts

    sweetccts New Member

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    Well its all better now.... I was trying to stop nursing her because she thinks its funny to bite...I dont like that.:)
  19. mom2tig99Nroo03

    mom2tig99Nroo03 MamaBearishFireman'sFlame

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    a better solution for biting usually is to pull her in real close so she lets go, and then put her down for a few minutes.
  20. artemisideas

    artemisideas Guest

    Avoiding clogged ducts

    Hi,

    I was developing multiple clogs a week and it really sucked. What worked for me for avoiding clogged ducts was avoiding eating too much dairy. Hope this helps!

    Natasha
    artemisideas.blogspot.com

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