Plug Ducks Help please!!!!

Annette - posted on 03/28/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )




I have been having a hard time feeding my little girl who now is a month old. I noticed last night my right side is plugged up and swollen. I tried heating pad, HOT shower, HOT towel, IcyHot, cold pack and even tried rubbing it to break it down, nothing has been working.

Any other suggestions would be greatful please!


Jennifer - posted on 03/29/2010




if it persists after the basic steps mentioned above, you could try:
-deep heat ultrasound treatment from a chiropractor, then do a targeted masage on the duct while nursing (preferable) or expressing (if baby won't nurse)
- some Registered Massage Therapists are able to help with stubborn blockages
- there is a homeopathic medication called phytolacca which is amazing for acute blockages, better than the soy lecithen.

Melisa - posted on 03/29/2010




Oh I feel for you. Worst toe curling pain ever, but if you can battle through it and continue nursing on that breast you are doing yourself and your baby a world of good!

For me I did the HOT shower with my breast directly under the water and then pumped that breast, and then nursed on it after the pumping. The pumping took most of it so that she could efficiently get everything out and work at opening the duct. It took a few days, but I never developed mastitis. Also look for stringy milk when pumping or in your baby's mouth. That means it is becoming unclogged. My midwife told me about that and sure enough! There was stringy spit up after a feed and I soon started to feel heaps better!

Also green cabbage leaves work, but do not over use them as over use will make your supply drop. It also works for engorgement. Just take the green leaves, crush them or roll a rolling pin on them as this releases the active ingredient. Just place them covering your whole breast or infected area.

You should only diagnose as mastitis if you have a very high fever! and flu like symptoms.



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April - posted on 03/29/2010




none of the advice from previous posters worked for me. the only thing that worked was an over the counter herb known as lecithin.

Melissa - posted on 03/29/2010




lots of family docs do not have the same specialized experiece as a lactation consultant would. you will need to treat the ducts soon or you could develop worse problems, like mastitis. thats is wahr my blocked ducts led to. there is also studies that show lecithin (avail. at health food stores) and vitamen B6 will help to keep clogged ducts from reoccurring. google it! i have talked to my doc and pharacist, but only was an LC able to give me the proper INFORMED direction, advice, simple explanation and support that i needed. good luck to you! yove made it through a month and that is awesome! keep going mama!

[deleted account]

just a suggestion,but pumping won't empty the breast like breastfeeding will, if you can it would help you to continue feeding unless its just too painful? you could try alternating positions too to ensure the breast is emptied from all sides, make sure baby is latched on well too. I would get checked out to make sure you don't have mastitis, does your breast feel hot?

Annette - posted on 03/28/2010




thank you all for the help, I did notice IBprofin working and helping with the swelling. I do have a doctors appt coming up this week so it should help if it doesnt go away by then. My baby was 5 weeks early and was put on the bottle right away and didnt take it well at first. Shes starting to come around finally, but nursing her in the night is impossible still. I have a madela pump and i pump several times a day, just hope all this help.

Jennifer - posted on 03/28/2010




Plugged ducts can be really painful. Here's the basic steps to clearing them:

1. Apply heat briefly before nursing (5 min max)

2. Massage the lump before and during nursing

3. Apply cold after and between nursing.

Additional Tips:

- get some extra rest, your body is telling you to slow down

- keep the milk flowing as much as possible in the affected breast, fully draining it frequently, idealy with a willing baby, otherwise with a pump or hand expression

- when you apply your heat, use a bowl of very warm water with a handful of epsome salts thrown in. Soak your beast for 5 min, then rinse before nursing. the epsome salts (found at your local pharmacy) have been shown to be very helpful in clearing blocked ducts.

- be sure that nothing is constricting your breast (ill-fitting bra, strap from a purse, diaper bag, baby carrier, etc) and that baby's latch is ok. all of these things can cause a blockage and prevent you from clearing it.

- when you nurse or pump, lean forward, even onto all 4s with your baby beneath you. gravity will increase the speed of the milk flow, increasing the likelyhood of flushing out the blockage.

- check your nipple for anything that looks like it may be blocking the opening: dried milk, skin grown over a duct, etc. if you see anything, gently scrape it away with a clean fingernail.

- Regular doses of ibuprophen (like advil or motrin) is considered safe while breastfeeding. it's a great anti-inflammatory that will help reduce the pain and most importantly, the swelling in your breast, allowing things to flow better.

- really keep your heat brief, no more than 5 min, otherwise you increase inflammation and swelling making it harder for the milk to flow.

- be careful if you have a fever or feel ill, as though with the flu. if you have a low grade fever, that came on gradually and feel otherwise well, this is likely just due to the inflammation. however, if you have a high fever that came on suddenly and you feel ill and achy all over, like if you have the flu, then this is a sign that you have a breast infection that may require antibiotics. it high fever & feeling ill persists for more than 24 hours, you should see a doctor. keep in mind that the vast majority of antibiotics are SAFE for breastfeeding.

- BTW, the icy hot will not help you. It's not that it is dangerous for baby since like most topical medications little or none would be absorbed into your blood & milk, but it just won't be effective. you need actual real heat to open things up.

Stina - posted on 03/28/2010




While nursing, massage the area that is clogged. If you feel like you haven't been sufficiently emptied during the nursing session, or if it's too painful to have her latch on to that side, pump while massaging the area. Keep doing the heating pad/warm wash cloths.

I'd stay away from medicated creams like icyhot since you don't want your baby to get the medicine and it soaks into your skin.

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