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Thread: Plugged duct or engorgement???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    466

    Default Plugged duct or engorgement???

    Just when I thought I had things figured out BF'ing my 3-month old... Since yesterday I started to feel part of my right breast hard; it gets harder between feedings and becomes soft after them (especially after a long feeding that drains the breast well). I first thought it was a plugged duct because only part of the breast was hard. However, it doesn't hurt (I had a plug ten weeks ago and it hurt A LOT). Also, I can't really feel a single lump--rather the whole top outer side of the breast is hard and lumpy.

    The outer side of my left breast also feels a bit lumpy between feedings (I feed one breast at a time so several hours go by for each breast) but not as hard as the right breast.

    I am very puzzled! I've been massaging during feeds, doing warm compresses, but I am not sure what I am dealing with. Can you have a painless plugged duct? Can the duct be so deep inside the breast that you cannot feel it when you palpate? Or is this just engorgement? Either way, any tips for dealing with it?

    Diaper output (wets and poops) has been normal. She is feeding as often as usual (8-9 times a day), spending the usual time at the breast (10-15 minutes), and is her normal self. She had an appetite spurt two weeks ago when she was always hungry and fed a lot, but last week she gradually worked it back to normal and I didn't feel engorged.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    23,795

    Default Re: Plugged duct or engorgement???

    Since what you're experiencing is painless, and the area is softer after nursing, I think you're experiencing some localized engorgement. Do your best to vary your nursing position, continue on with the heat and massage, and it should decrease with time as your supply adjusts to the baby's needs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    889

    Default Re: Plugged duct or engorgement???

    Agree with PP. i would add just check to make sure your nursing bra is supporting not binding. If you have deep red marks on your shoulders,and rib-cage maybe your bra is too tight.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Plugged duct or engorgement???

    Thank you for the replies! I never thought engorgement could be localized, which is why I was so confused. And a bit scared!... During the day it's been gradually improving, but I will keep an eye in the evening/night, which is when it felt worse.

    I think part of the issue is that she always nurses in the same position (cradle). She has her chin against the inside of my breast, opposite the part that gets engorged now. I tried the football hold when she was very little, and for some reason she would always choke! Maybe I should give it another try, but she's so big now I don't know how to do it! Any suggestions of other positions?

    Thanks again, your answers as usual are informative and reassuring.

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