I'm hoping someone can provide advice for two issues I'm having...one chronic and one acute.
1. My daughter is 12 months old and I've been getting recurring plugged ducts (usually once a week, sometimes more often) for the past three months or so. It's usually my right breast that is affected, although every once in a while it's my left.
(Interestingly, I also got plugged ducts when I breastfed my older son, but it was usually my left breast and not as frequently as I've been experiencing this go-around).
I've followed all the advice that I've read on KellyMom (comfortable bra, ensure latch is correct, favor plugged side, make sure breast is emptied, take lecithin). But usually the only thing that works is when I take a hot shower and forcefully massage/hand express the blockage out.
Now, if I feel even the teeniest bit of hardness developing in my breast, I proactively massage/hand express is before it gets too bad. So, I'm able to manage the situation, but it's frustrating (and, at times, pretty painful), so I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do? Or maybe there's another underlying breast issue? This brings me to my next point...
2. Four days ago, I had a plugged duct so had to forcefully massage it out. Since then, I developed what looks like a white head and swelling on the lower side of my nipple. This white head looks a little bit like a zit and also resembles what I often see on the top of my nipple when I have a plugged duct. However, this one is on the side of my nipple where milk doesn't come out. I also have an extreme amount of tenderness/pain in about 1/3 of my breast. I feel an ever-so-slight hardening, but it doesn't feel plugged.
I'm wondering if all of this is just an effect of the forceful massaging I did four days ago (e.g. a plugged pore, inflammation)....or if I irritated a Montgomery gland....or if there's some other underlying breast issue.
If anyone has thoughts/advice on either of these issues, I'd greatly appreciate it! Much thanks.