Clogged milk ducts? Please help!

Heather - posted on 08/03/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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First of all, I'm not 100% sure that's what my problem is.. i'm just guessing from what I know about clogged milk ducts.. It feels as though the tissue in my breast is on fire (not hot to the touch or red spots or anything like that) .. it's only the left side.. and even if I pump and then feed (my son is 4 weeks old) it's as though nothing empties that side out.. it still feels full and uncomfortable. I can't stand when I'm holding Isaac or my daugher (lauren is 3) for them to be up against it.. it's so sore. I also know the "let down" feeling can feel this way, but I know that feeling and it's not it.. also, when I do pump I try to massage the breast and I can feel hard spots in there (which is why I'm assuming it's clogged ducts) .. however this is so hard to do because it hurts so much.

If that's what is going on, why would it happen? I don't usually get too full.. I'm trying to pump as much as possible for when I go back to work.. so between that and feedings I don't usually become engorged or anything like that.. ??

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Sarah - posted on 08/03/2009

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Put heat on prior to the feed and cool on afterwards. If you continue to pump beyond what your son feeds then you'll continue to make large amount of milk and continue with the problem. try to express in the shower with the hot water on. You can also put cold cabbage leaves in your bra for 24 hours max (you don't want to dry up your supply completely) just to help decrease the supply a bit. Good luck

Heather - posted on 08/03/2009

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Thank you guys so much! I'm pretty sure it's not mastitis.. It's not hot or red.. but it is hard in spots.. I don't have a fever. The heat seems to have helped for the last 2 feedings (one of which I had just got out of a hot shower) but massaging it while he's feeding is almost impossible. He's kind of crazy when he's eating (very aggressive) and most of the feeding I"m trying to keep him on track since he goes from very aggressive to asleep in no time then I have to wake him back up to finish.. How long does this last??

Etta - posted on 08/03/2009

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I used warm washcloths on the area before feeding and massaged the hard spots toward the nipple while the baby nursed. Warm showers also worked.

Melissa - posted on 08/03/2009

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I am dealing with mastitis right now so make sure that's not what you have. Mastitis is when the clogged ducts get infected and it's REALLY painful. The right side of my right breast was red, hard and hot. It hurt to even lay on my right side. I had to call my Dr for antibiotics and it is much better now after just two days of pills. If you think it's just a clogged duct, try warm compresses or a hot shower and massage the area aggressively while you are nursing. You can line the baby up so his/her chin is sort of massaging the area while nursing. Don't stop nursing on that side even though it might hurt! You need to loosen up the clogged duct and keep the milk flowing. Good luck! Call your dr if it gets worse or if you get a fever (that's mastitis).

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I've been struggling with clogged ducts. When I get one I put a rice sock (or any heat) on the area before I nurse. This helps it loosen up a bit. When you nurse line up your baby's nose with the area and gently massage while he nurses. I've had some bad ones that have taken days to get rid of. I've been told some people have fattier milk that sticks together more causing these problems. Make sure that you are switching up nursing positions so that you exercise all of the ducts. My lactation consultant also recommended Lecithin. It's a fatty acid that's supposed to keep your fat from sticking together. I think it's mostly used for patients with heart problems, but it helps with clogged ducts too. I have it, but haven't started using it yet. Talk to your baby's dr first to make sure it's ok to take that supplement before you try it. One last note, I was also told that these problems usually go away once your supply is regulated (around 3 months) so hang in there! Good luck!

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