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Thread: Plugged duct help please.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    20

    Default Plugged duct help please.

    So, I am used to plugged ducts. With DS1 I got them constantly, and had great methods for relieving them. But I have a stubborn one that I cannot get to go away, and now my nipple is hugely swollen and very painful as well. It feels like there are lumps of stuck milk up inside the nipple, as well as a painful lump on the upper right portion of my breast. I have tried nursing, super hot bath and manual expression, pumping and manual expression (at work today since I cannot bring baby to work to nurse), breast massage and manual expression, and cabbage. I am worried with the swollen nipple that maybe there is more than just a plugged duct going on?

    I am a bit limited in my options of stuff to try, and likely cannot get to the doc tomorrow. We are in the midst of a huge wind storm, the town I live in has declared a state of emergency, and we have been without power for almost 24 hours now. And we have been ordered to conserve water, since the water pumping station in town is without power as well, so another hot bath is likely out.

    So, I need good old fashioned home remedies, and any suggestions on dealing with the swollen nipple. Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Plugged duct help please.

    Mama, that sounds tough all around! s

    Can you heat some water on the stove (this is assuming you have gas)? You can plunge your breast into a bowl of warm water. This helps to loosen the plug and also to reduce inflammation. I had a horrible case of multiple plugs that took over 25% of my breast and made the nipple a bit swollen. Not sure if it was the same as you describe. I could see the white tip of the plugged duct on the nipple surface. An LC suggested I put a cotton ball dipped in olive oil on top of the nipple as a compress to loosen up the plug. I did this, plus the breast-in-the-bowl, several times, and nursed right after. I pumped every 1.5 hour even though it was dry pumping. It took almost three days until I got it all unplugged.

    Maybe others will have additional tips for you.

    Oh, taking an Ibuprofen helped diminish inflammation, which also helped with unplugging.
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    429

    Default Re: Plugged duct help please.

    I know it sounds a little crazy but you could try to have your husband suck it out. I had to do that once after trying everything else and it worked like a charm.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,959

    Default Re: Plugged duct help please.

    If you examine the surface if the nipple, do you see anything that looks like a blister? It could look like a white dot on the nipple surface, or a very subtle, tough blister that is really apparent only right after you nurse. Often what happens to me is that I get a bit of skin overgrowing a nipple pore, and them the milk backs up behind it. I can almost always get thing to flow again by breaking the blister with a sterile needle.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Plugged duct help please.

    to all the above
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    466

    Default Re: Plugged duct help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lovemygirlso1 View Post
    I know it sounds a little crazy but you could try to have your husband suck it out. I had to do that once after trying everything else and it worked like a charm.
    Interesting. I hope my question is not too weird, but how did you husband latch? Like a baby latches, or just sucking as if from a straw? I want to know for the future if I have a bad one again...

    Also, @thtr4me: I hope you are feeling better today
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Plugged duct help please.

    Thanks so much for all the replies! With no power and no electricity, we went to bed early (funny how late it feels once the sun goes down and you have little artificial light) and spent the night nursing. I am feeling a bit better today. The lump in the breast feels smaller, but my nipple is still swollen and painful and lumpy. I am a not looking forward to my 11am pumping session coming up.

    And things would be so easy if there was a bleb, or if I could at least see the plug in one of the nipple pores. But nothing. I keep hoping to see something white pop up on my nipple, because there is something so satisfying about popping a bleb, or pulling out a plug and watching the backed up milk run free!

    And I am kinda thinking, now that you bring the husband thing up, and how one of the PP asked how he latched, that it may be tied to my 5.5yo trying to unwean in the last week or two. He has been asking for mama milk and he is nursing every couple of days. But his latch is HORRIBLE (he has not nursed in 1.5 years) so I am thinking that maybe something he did while latched on pinched something off and caused the plug.

    If things still feel swollen and painful tonight, I am thinking a warm washcloth with a bit of olive oil sounds like it would feel really good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Plugged duct help please.

    Just like a baby latches. Kinda like you'd suck a thumb or bottle basically. So not quite like a baby latch. And he could suck a lot harder than DD to get out the clog. So he got the whole areola in his mouth too, not just nipple, just like you'd do with a baby. Lol he had a cup to spit out the milk. He said it was the idea of it more than the taste because he said it was really sweet he just didn't want to swallow. He only got a tiny bit anyway since I pumped right before lol.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Plugged duct help please.

    I third the husband. My husband fixes all my clogged ducts. Take a nice warm bath, massage the duct all the way from the back to the nipple, (we have an electric back massager I use sometimes) and then have your husband align his nose with the most painful area. At first my hubby wasn't sure how to suckle, but it look like 2 mins to figure it out. IT HURTS!! but works awesome.

    To warn you, (don't tell him this) the milk can get really salty so don't be surprised if he says it tasted weird! LOL! i had to reassure him it wasn't puss etc... which it probably was something sort of infection-y/ gross, i just said milk gets a higher salt content when left in the boob.
    Carmen-Noel mum to James born naturally 8/28/2010.
    Mommy's little pumpkin head


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Plugged duct help please.

    Ya the massaging right before really helps. I put a wet hot washcloth on too. A bath works great too.

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