Blocked duct

Christy - posted on 12/06/2008 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Hi-
this is the third blocked duct I have had in the 4 months I have been breast feeding. The last time, I was on antibiotics, and it was actually only 2 1/2 weeks ago. I am in pain again, and very upset. I have been putting warm compresses on the breast, massaging it, and pumping often. If anyone has any other suggestions on how to get this duct unclogged, I would so appreciate the advice. Also, if anyone knows tricks in preventing the clogged duct, I would also love to hear your opinions as well.

Thanks

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Anne-Odile - posted on 03/15/2009

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Poor thing, you must be hurting right now. Read my post above for some suggestions that may help you. If you do find the white dot on your nipple, don't squeeze the entire nipple, but just the dot itself, as if you were squeezing a black head (sorry for the analogy!). I hope it helps.

Leslie - posted on 03/15/2009

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i am suffering right now with clogged ducts, thank you all for your advice :) it's been a couple of days and i have been trying the heat and messaging and no luck so far. i need to get the plug out, when i squeeze only milk is coming out of the other ones but i'll keep trying.

Brandie - posted on 12/07/2008

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make sure that you do not sleep on your breast or put more peasure than needed let you baby nurse from that breast

mastitis really hurts and if you let the infection go to long it could turn into an absess which happened to me and i had to get it drained so make sure you keep nursing from that breast if it happens again

Christy - posted on 12/07/2008

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Thank you to all who responded. I actually got the duct unclogged this morning! Wheww... thank goodness. I thought I would have to go to the hospital the pain was so bad, and the lump was so large. Anyway, I found the clogged duct on my nipple as Annie suggested. Thanks!!! so much for all your advice.

Jackie - posted on 12/06/2008

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feet over my head, sorry I forgot how to type for a second :-) check out a copy of "the womanly art of breastfeeding" its a life saver

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Miriam - posted on 05/12/2012

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My baby is 8 months old and she is weaning herself. I am trying to pump less often now to reduce my milk supply and I got a clogged duct today - I tried to have my baby nurse to remove the clog but it didn't help, I also have been pumping like crazy today to relieve the engorgement, hot showers massage you name it. Finally I saw the white dot plugging the duct but I couldn't pump it out. So I followed Anne-Odile advice to squeeze the dot like a black head and it came out followed by a gush of milk. What a relief :) Thank you Anne

Samantha - posted on 01/09/2009

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Tina is right about the greasy food.  I read it's actually saturated fat in particular that seems to chronically plug ducts in women, and greasy food would fit the bill!  Everyone is right about pointing the chin toward the sore spot and massaging and all that stuff.  I also read that some women get it from bras that put constant pressure on a spot (someone suggested underwires; makes sense to me!), or even carrying a purse/bag chronically in the same spot where it puts pressure on the same area day in and day out.  By the way, your picture is adorable!  You 2 look so alike!

Christy - posted on 12/08/2008

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Wow, I never thought of the greasy diet issue. Eeks, I just had pizza tonight. Okay, I guess I will have to start with the non-grease tomorrow. Thanks for the tip. Maybe it will help my waistline too :)

Tina - posted on 12/08/2008

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I had Mastitis at 6 weeks and 8 weeks...I can feel your pain and it is miserable. I tried warm compresses and massages, they helped. And what Anne suggested are all great! I got a tip from my girlfriend, she said not to eat too much greasy food or too oil food, which might make your duct plugged. Then I just realized i had alot of greasy and oily food, like fried chicken, peanut butter(there is alot of oil in this nut), peanut M&M, deep fried coconut shrimp and anything crispy! Then i totally cut those thing out of my diet, I don't have the plugging issue like before anymore, or sometimes I just have a really full breasts but it won't turn out hurt or painful, i just need to put warm compresses and massage. Therefore, keep you diet less oily would help.

Anne-Odile - posted on 12/07/2008

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Christy, I'm so glad you feel better... I also know how that feels, you go from an extreme low to a great high, so relieved the pain and pressure are gone! If you get more plugged ducts, remember to look for the white dots, and try to clear them again. This little trick has helped me so much.



Also, I have heard not to use underwire bras, as they may increase the risk of plugged ducts. Not sure if this is true or not.

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I suffered with plugged ducts every week, if not every couple of days up until about 2 months ago (baby is now 10 mos old). I wish I knew what changed, but whatever it was, I am glad! I totally feel for you. I would actually get depressed every time it happened b/c I was so deteremined to breast feed, but it was not smooth sailing. My husband, not wanting to see me suffer, would suggest giving up on BFing, but I refused and I am glad I did not give up.



I tried all the things you've said. Warm compresses WHILE the baby was nursing would sometimes help him clear them. Try to massage the area while nursing - which is excruciatingly painful! If your breast is like a clock face...You also want to put the baby's jaw at the direction of the plug (if the plugged area is at 2 o'clock, put the baby's jaw at 2 oclock, or the next best thing is to try the jaw at 8 oclock. I spend many hours with the baby in weird positions. In bed with his feet toward my face; and my personal fave (sarcasm), hovered over him, letting my boob hang into his mouth, his head positioned still with pillows. Argh! And always start nursing on the breast with the plug.

I also read that Vitamin C could help, but it didn't seem to do anything for me. I would take Tylenol for pain, and keep an electric heating pad on my breast all night (be careful if cosleeping like we were). I stopped wearing all bras and still do not wear one to this day (not pretty!) for fear that I will get plugged again.

Amanda - posted on 12/07/2008

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The post by Anne-Odile Thomas is right on. In addition to her suggestions, try a dip. Big bowl of hot water, massage, then nurse-whatever position you think will help. They gave us a little bowl at the hospital that was intended for this purpose...but it was a bit small:)

Anne-Odile - posted on 12/06/2008

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Oh, I hear your pain. I've had many plugged ducts myself, at times once a week. I've been very lucky so far that none turned into mastitis (knock on wood!). After doing quite a bit of research on the internet, and talking to other moms, I tried the following: have the baby nurse from the side where the plug is until it's unplugged even though it may hurt quite a bit (basically, have the baby help you unplug it); position the baby so that the chin is massaging the side of the breast where the plug is (it can be tricky depending on where the plug is located); have a hot shower or use a hot compress just before you nurse to allow the ducts to expand a bit with heat; as you take a hot shower, massage the breast gently, as if pushing the plug out towards the nipple (I managed to unplug it once that way); also massage the area that's plugged gently trowards the nipple as your baby is feeding. Also, a trick that I only found out after a few painful plugged ducts it to check if you notice a small white dot on the nipple. If you are lucky enough to see one, this is your plug, and it's right at the nipple. If so, try squeezing the dot, as if popping a zit (I know,it's not a nice analogy!), but do it gently, so that you don't damage your nipple. I've done it a few time, and some white paste comes out (the plug). The pressure is so strong behind it, that you might even end up squarting milk right there, so you may want to try that right before nursing, or have a bra pad ready to absorb the leak.

As for prevention, I'm not quite sure, but I've heard to continue massaging your breasts as your nurse helps, as well as making sure your empty one breast before moving your baby to the other.

Also, as my baby got older (she's 8 months now), plugged ducts became a lot fewer, maybe because she became a stronger sucker? Not sure. But I'm glad about it...

I hope this helps you.

Jackie - posted on 12/06/2008

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nursing often and changing positions a lot is key to prevention. for relief (and this can sometime get awkward, I have fed my baby with her feet over my while lying down a few times) point the babies nose toward to plugged duct, and use this as the starting position until the problem is relieved. once it is relieved try to only pump once and in the morning, for a few weeks, you may be overstimulating your milk supply.

Emily - posted on 12/06/2008

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I don't have any personal experience... somehow in almost three years of breastfeeding, I've never had a plugged duct... but my friends who've had many swear by simply going to bed with baby and encouraging them to nurse as frequently as possible and from as many different positions as possible. Sometimes the baby is simply not stimulating a duct enough to drain it properly and it backs up. Changing positions would change which ducts are stimulated at each feeding.

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