blocked milk ducts

Emma - posted on 06/22/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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AAArrrrggggghhhhhhh!!!! I have blocked milk ducts in one of my breasts. There are red patches and hard spots which are really painful. Im still feeding from that breast but it is so painful. Does anyone know what I could do to relieve the pain?

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Start with that breast every time you nurse. Baby will usually suck stronger when she/he's really hungry at the beginning of a feed. Put a hot compress on the area before and during nursing. Gently massage the lumps while nursing too. Try laying baby down on the bed and leaning over baby to nurse. Massage the clog in a downward motion toward your nipple. That way gravity can help clear it out. I've had more clogged ducts than I can count (I had them all while using the shield). One was really not budging so I did some research and read this tip: fill a bowl with hot water (as hot as you can stand it). Lean over the bowl and dip the affecting breast in. While the breast is in the bowl massage downward. Then nurse baby. Sounds strange, but I had a clog for several days and this finally got it out. I also took ibuprofen to help reduce swelling. I hated taking meds, but I was in so much pain and I knew I had to get it out before it turned into mastitis. To help prevent clogged ducts make sure your bras fit you correctly and that you're alternating nursing positions so that all of the ducts are thoroughly emptied.

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Candace - posted on 06/24/2011

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Do you have a pump? You need to empty that breast to get it better faster. If the baby won't do it for you, you may have to. Of course, always feed her on that side first. I didn't have full fledged mastitis but when I had this problem, I dipped my breast into a bowl of hot water to get some release and then a bowl of cold water to soothe. It was really weird but helped none the less.

Erin - posted on 06/23/2011

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Just keep nursing from that breast as much as possible. The clog will work it's way out. If it doesn't clear up after a few days, call your doc. You don't want to get mastitis.

Delia - posted on 06/23/2011

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It may be the taste of the milk on the side with the mastitis. Though the milk is not harmful, sodium levels increase in the milk associated with mastitis, and baby may be reacting to the taste of the milk.



Start the baby on the unaffected side first, then when the baby comes to the affected side, suckling will be less vigorous, you will have already experienced the let-down, and it will be less painful.



Encourage frequent, regular breastfeeding with complete emptying of the breast. If the baby is unable to completely empty the breast, initiate pumping with a good electric breastpump.



Warm packs promote drainage of the ductal system but ice packs increase comfort. Either or both may be used (maybe warm before nursing, and ice afterwards).



Hang in there!!!!!! This too shall pass. I'm not sure how old your baby is, but the highest incidence of mastitis peaks at 6 to 7 months and declines from there.

Emma - posted on 06/23/2011

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thanks everyone...heat compresses are really helping and so is the massage. However last night I developed a really high fever...so am now on antibiotics. One more problem now...baby doesn't like the taste of my milk with the medicine in it and is refusing to drink, which is a big problem because she is already under a paediatrician because her weight is not progressing fast enough. Its a nightmare!!!

Amanda - posted on 06/23/2011

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Heat, and FEED, FEED, FEED! Put your baby to work sucking that clog loose. Heat and massage really help (and advil doesn't hurt)

Delia - posted on 06/22/2011

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I second Sara, and I would just add that if your pain is accompanied by fever and/or chills, you may have mastitis, in which case antibiotics may be necessary.

Stress and fatique contribute to the development of mastitis, so if you haven't already, take your baby to bed and take that afternoon nap together. Also get friends or family to help you with your household chores.

Yelena - posted on 06/22/2011

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Thank you Sara D! I'm having the same problem. It is my own fault too, I've neglected my clugged duct and it's now been a week of pain. Hot showers and massage don't seem to help all that much, and my breast pump is not that powerfull. I'll go give the soak a shot. Some say adding sea salt or epsom salt also helps. Thanks again!!!

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