Help from lactating moms -- blocked duct/mastitis?

Kimberly - posted on 01/15/2009 ( 41 moms have responded )

39

9

1

Help! My right boob seems to have a blocked duct (or many blocked ducts) that I can't seem to clear. Usually they clear up after a couple of pumping sessions, but this time my boob just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Instead of a single wedge sized lump, it feels like a big mass in the middle. But I suppose that could be the backed up milk.



I have been warm compressing and pumping frequently. BUT, the pumping seems to only make it worse because I get more letdowns and the milk isn't getting out. I'm waiting for a call back from my OB but just wondering what I should do in the meantime (and how long I should wait before going in to the doctor). It started yesterday evening. Its getting pretty uncomfortable/painful. I've definitely been feeling very sleepy the past couple of days, but I wouldn't exactly call it 'flu-like' symptoms.....



Thanks!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Melanna - posted on 01/15/2009

17

11

0

I don't know if this will help once you get it, but this is a good way to help prevent it in the future. Drink a tablespoon of Apple Cidar Vinegar every day. It's strong, so I always put it in tea (Raspberry is good!). This is really good when your milk is first coming in, when you're weaning or if you're prone to Mastitis. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I had a big problem with clogged ducts when I first started nursing, and every once in a while I will get a lump. Get a heating pad - you can buy one at wal-mart or target for about $10-15 dollars. Then what I have done is use it as a warm compress and leave it on my breast for as long as possible (anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour), then pump the milk out - sometimes even leaving the heating pad on while I pumped (if possible). I would do this several times a day until they cleared. I never had much success with the hot shower thing, but this has always done the job for me.

Kaleigh - posted on 01/15/2009

1

23

0

Go to the doctors asap, this happened to me with my first daughter. It turned into a huge infection they had to do minor surgery! So definatly call your doctor soon! i waited to long to call! goodluck & best wishes

Danialle - posted on 01/15/2009

246

18

8

Do you have a fever? If you have a high fever it is mastitis and you will probably need some atibiotics. Thats what happened when I got mastitis, they gave me pain pills and antibiotics. I sent my son to his grandparents for a couple days and rested and pumped. I didn't want to nurse him with those drugs in my system. If you don't feel better by tomorrow, I would say go to your doctor.

Molly - posted on 01/15/2009

21

18

1

you mentioned you are back at work...do you have set pumping times. If you are missing any regular pumping times or are spreading them out further that may make it more likely to get a blocked duct. I only had it once with my second son but was home. it was with my first son when i was working and couldn't always pump at regular intervals that I kept getting mastitis it was miserable. i lasted until 10 months with nursing! Good luck!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

41 Comments

View replies by

Kimberly - posted on 01/16/2009

39

9

1

Just wanted to say that after warm compressing, ibuprofen and some rather vigorous massaging while pumping, the blockage seems to have gone away. I'm keeping an eye on it, but think I have avoided anything more serious this time. Thanks to everyone for your advice and support.

Nisha - posted on 01/15/2009

13

38

1

I used to get blocked ducts fairly frequently when I was nursing.  Massage it gently in a really warm bath (shower doesn't work).  That worked for me everytime.  Once you get the milk flowing a bit, try a feed.

Nisha - posted on 01/15/2009

13

38

1

I used to get blocked ducts fairly frequently when I was nursing.  Massage it gently in a really warm bath (shower doesn't work).  That worked for me everytime.  Once you get the milk flowing a bit, try a feed.

Nisha - posted on 01/15/2009

13

38

1

I used to get blocked ducts fairly frequently when I was nursing.  Massage it gently in a really warm bath (shower doesn't work).  That worked for me everytime.  Once you get the milk flowing a bit, try a feed.

[deleted account]

I had it too with my twins and it was aweful. After 24h I had 40 degree fever and could no longer walk or hold my babies. I had to stay in bed for nearly 2 weeks. Please go to your doctor as antibiotics will really make you feel better soon. During the 2 weeks I had to feed the babies as much as possible (even though it hurted) and took plenty of hot baths and while in the bath I massaged so that lumps would disappear. The other advise was not to pump so much, only let excess milk out. If you get onto it in time and take antibiotics you can avoid surgery.



Good luck!

Elizabeth - posted on 01/15/2009

9

2

1

Definitely get yourself to a doctor.  I thought I'd developed a blocked duct not long after my son was born.  I suddenly was running a violent fever (102.some) and felt pretty ill in general.  I got into the doctor first thing in the morning (it came on in the middle of the night), but they said that there wasn't anything wrong with my ducts.  The pain was just engorgement/increasing in the production.  However, they did an ultrasound of my uterus and found that I still had tissue left behind.  They were able to remove it immediately with a little tube and it wasn't infected (probably because I'd come in immediately). 



But it might also be simply engorgement.  Only your doctor will be able to tell for sure.  Given the age of your child, it might be that his appetite is increasing and so you're just having a sudden increase in making extras.  Plus, if you're nursing extra and it's engorgement, this will just increase the problem and make you hurt worse.  Not necessarily a bad thing.  My breasts ached horrendously when the baby would suddenly be eating more in a sitting and suddenly the production had to increase.  Warm showers are highly recommended, let the shower run directly on your chest.  Just not so hot you burn your skin (obviously).  You might also start using cocoa butter lotion a few times a day to help keep the skin from getting stretched painfully.

Jennifer - posted on 01/15/2009

6

4

0

When I had a clogged duct I was massaging my breast while I pumped/nursed. When I had a chance to take a shower I made it as warm as I could and massaged in there too.



I eventually found out that my clog was at the end of my nipple and used a sterile needle to unclog it.



I hope something works for you! Good Luck!



 

Xiomara - posted on 01/15/2009

1

1

0

I used to use wet, warm to very hot towels to help with the let down. But I would begin by expressing the milk with your hands as opposed to the pumping machine. Not sure if it will help but it helped me. All else fails call a lactation specialist at your hospital.

Frances - posted on 01/15/2009

6

19

0

I am in the exact same situation. (Twins that don't nurse often). I have had several plugged ducts and the best thing for me was to massage the area HARD while pumping. And call your MD, tell her you think you have an infection and need antibiotics, sometimes you have to act desperate to get attention.

Frances - posted on 01/15/2009

6

19

0

I am in the exact same situation. (Twins that don't nurse often). I have had several plugged ducts and the best thing for me was to massage the area HARD while pumping. And call your MD, tell her you think you have an infection and need antibiotics, sometimes you have to act desperate to get attention.

Leslie - posted on 01/15/2009

1

0

0

You need to massage the lump in the direction of your nipple when pumping or nursing in order to get the mass to break up.  You would have a fever and feel really horrible if you have mastitis. At least that is how I felt when I had it.

Loni - posted on 01/15/2009

17

10

0

Have you tried to latch them back on? I got mastitis a week after my son was born and I started strickly pumping cause it hurt so bad to latch. Well a couple weeks ago I tried to latch him back on (now almost 3 months) and he latched on like he never stopped.



I woke up with the chills and a fever and knew what is was. I called my doc and told him i thought that is what I had and he called me in some antibiotics, but then I got thrush from taking the anitbiotics. So if you can do it naturally I suggest that!

Clarissa - posted on 01/15/2009

1

0

0



Kim,



Sounds like you're doing a lot of the right things with heat,extra pumping,etc.



If your energy is down, that could be a sign of infection(even without a fever).I suggest seeing your OB.



Also, take some tylenol for the discomfort.



Have been there before(and still remember the discomfort)



Quoting Kimberly:

Help from lactating moms -- blocked duct/mastitis?

Help! My right boob seems to have a blocked duct (or many blocked ducts) that I can't seem to clear. Usually they clear up after a couple of pumping sessions, but this time my boob just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Instead of a single wedge sized lump, it feels like a big mass in the middle. But I suppose that could be the backed up milk.

I have been warm compressing and pumping frequently. BUT, the pumping seems to only make it worse because I get more letdowns and the milk isn't getting out. I'm waiting for a call back from my OB but just wondering what I should do in the meantime (and how long I should wait before going in to the doctor). It started yesterday evening. Its getting pretty uncomfortable/painful. I've definitely been feeling very sleepy the past couple of days, but I wouldn't exactly call it 'flu-like' symptoms.....

Thanks!





 

Denise - posted on 01/15/2009

38

25

2

hot compresses and massage your breast with your nuckles and pumping manually is better ... keep on insisting till it hurts - i used to wake up at night to pump the milk out even if it is a question of a couple of drops. I not contraindicated take paracetamol for fever and pain. Unfortunately the pain remains for weeks after it has cleared

Denise - posted on 01/15/2009

38

25

2

hot compresses and massage your breast with your nuckles and pumping manually is better ... keep on insisting till it hurts - i used to wake up at night to pump the milk out even if it is a question of a couple of drops. I not contraindicated take paracetamol for fever and pain. Unfortunately the pain remains for weeks after it has cleared

Jenna - posted on 01/15/2009

19

46

3

do u use underwire nursing bras? u should use ones without wires because they can cause clogged ducts. i just pumped and it helped me. u should definately see what the doc says. i also stood in the shower with my back to the water and it soothed the pain too

Sagan - posted on 01/15/2009

2

0

1

Go to the Dr. My sister in law had flu like symtoms and found out it was Mastitus. She was put back into the hospital and given antibiotics.

Christina - posted on 01/15/2009

8

24

0

I agree with all of the replys when I nursed I used to get the same thing what I found worked was a hot tubby or shower and I let the water just hit on myy chest, when I got out I used regular heated tea bags which helped with inflamation I put them on my nipples inside my bra and used a heat bag around my breast it seemed to work for me. and each time I nursed I made sure I started with that side first



hope tis helps good luck

Bobbi - posted on 01/15/2009

17

11

0

I would reccommend seeing your physician.  I had mastitis and didn't have the flu-like symptoms at first, but it came later.  If it is mastitis you want to catch it as soon as possible.  I feel for you, it is incredibly painful.

Bobbi - posted on 01/15/2009

17

11

0

I would reccommend seeing your physician.  I had mastitis and didn't have the flu-like symptoms at first, but it came later.  If it is mastitis you want to catch it as soon as possible.  I feel for you, it is incredibly painful.

Bobbi - posted on 01/15/2009

17

11

0

I would reccommend seeing your physician.  I had mastitis and didn't have the flu-like symptoms at first, but it came later.  If it is mastitis you want to catch it as soon as possible.  I feel for you, it is incredibly painful.

Kimberly - posted on 01/15/2009

39

9

1

Ugh, I just got totally blown off by my doctor's office. The secretary just called me back with a message from the doctor to contact the La Leche League. Not that that is bad advice, but I'm in a lot of pain and I can't believe my OB couldn't give me a single piece of useful information.

Aaron - posted on 01/15/2009

33

38

1

I once heard you can put a cold cabbage leaf in your bra on the affected area to sooth.  But it is not recommended to keep it on for long.

Annie - posted on 01/15/2009

2

7

0

I had this issue with all 3 of my kids too....Tylenol every 4 hours. I know it hurts too, but in a warm shower really push down on the blocked area try to release that. You may want to see your doc soon! Mastitis is terrible, and you need to take care of yourself too.

Annie - posted on 01/15/2009

2

7

0

I had this issue with all 3 of my kids too....Tylenol every 4 hours. I know it hurts too, but in a warm shower really push down on the blocked area try to release that. You may want to see your doc soon! Mastitis is terrible, and you need to take care of yourself too.

Ginger - posted on 01/15/2009

208

13

22

If pumping is your only option.. I would probably get to the drs.. as the pump wont get it all out.. and you dont want things to get worse.. good for you to continue pumping with twins and going to work

Amber - posted on 01/15/2009

2

8

0

When I had mastitis, my boob was very painful and I started getting a fever and chills within 24 hours.  The only thing that helped was antibotics and I had to get an extra shot of them to help out.  I went from bad to worse very quickly, so I hope you hear back from your doctor soon...

Kimberly - posted on 01/15/2009

39

9

1

Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, I have twins and they don't nurse anymore (they were preemies and got too used to the bottle). So I only have the pump. And I'm at work today -- I would love to take a hot shower or bath! My breast is just so big and sore -- really distracting! I'll keep with the warm compresses for now and do the shower when I get home....

Melissa - posted on 01/15/2009

2

12

0

my suggestion is to nurse in several different ways. on the floor, football, or any way possible. then massage your breast as she is nursing. this happend to me with both kids and just last week actually.
hope this helps.

Melissa - posted on 01/15/2009

18

24

0

i dont think u will need antibiotics  yet.



Stop pumping  if it is making it worse.



I use to get them all the time and the hot water didnt really work for me most times. someone told me to put ice on it, and it worked for me. took the swelling down and the pain. and then just nursing  and massaging it out let it out. also the cold makes the milk stop coming it so it wont get more blocked up.



aww i feel for u woman! good luck

Melissa - posted on 01/15/2009

18

24

0

i dont think u will need antibiotics  yet.



Stop pumping  if it is making it worse.



I use to get them all the time and the hot water didnt really work for me most times. someone told me to put ice on it, and it worked for me. took the swelling down and the pain. and then just nursing  and massaging it out let it out. also the cold makes the milk stop coming it so it wont get more blocked up.



aww i feel for u woman! good luck

Melissa - posted on 01/15/2009

18

24

0

i dont think u will need antibiotics  yet.



Stop pumping  if it is making it worse.



I use to get them all the time and the hot water didnt really work for me most times. someone told me to put ice on it, and it worked for me. took the swelling down and the pain. and then just nursing  and massaging it out let it out. also the cold makes the milk stop coming it so it wont get more blocked up.



aww i feel for u woman! good luck

Melissa - posted on 01/15/2009

18

24

0

i dont think u will need antibiotics  yet.



Stop pumping  if it is making it worse.



I use to get them all the time and the hot water didnt really work for me most times. someone told me to put ice on it, and it worked for me. took the swelling down and the pain. and then just nursing  and massaging it out let it out. also the cold makes the milk stop coming it so it wont get more blocked up.



aww i feel for u woman! good luck

Ginger - posted on 01/15/2009

208

13

22

I agree with Molly tylenol(reduce the inflamation and pain), hot shower and massage the area that is plugged.. it will be very sore, and feeding the baby on that side more often..If you can get more rest( I know it is hard to do with a little one, but that too will help your body repair itself)..  I had this a few times with my daughter It never got to the point of medication.. but It only took a few days to get it cleared up.. If It gets more painful and you get a fever go to the drs..  Hope you feel better soon

Aaron - posted on 01/15/2009

33

38

1

I agree.. You may need antibiotics at this point.  You should definately nurse as often as you can tolerate it.. It may be painful, but I found it helped more than pumping.  Try and position the top of your babies head towards the lump.  as awkward as that may be it helps your baby suck from that direction and hopefully help relieve the block.  Stay positive, and hope it helps.

Molly - posted on 01/15/2009

21

18

1

I wuld take tylenol to helo the pain, hop in a nice hot shower and direct the water over the area and masage the area. Have baby nurse frequently and first on that side so hopefully the duct will open. I have had this happen many times unfortunately but if I hotsoaked it morning and night and hot packed in between with the massage and nursing it opened up. if you spike a high fever you may need an antibiotic I did once. Good luck!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms