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Thread: Duct is full but not engorged, lump in areola

  1. #1

    Default Duct is full but not engorged, lump in areola

    Hello everyone,

    I had clogged ducts a week ago and cleared it, and while doing it developed a crack at the corner of my nipple where it meets the areola.

    A few days after the crack formed, I started feeling a little lump underneath the areola (i dont always feel it). Now, I can feel the duct extending from the nipple to my armpit when I press down, it feels like the spine of a leafy vegetable. I have had this for 3 days now, but the weird thing is that milk does not get backed up! Also, this morning I noticed a slight redness appearing along the duct. What's going on here? Shall I be seeing the doctor? Shall I wait? I am keeping breastfeeding, (I have twins), but have a feeling that the twin feeding on that side is not getting quite full...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    22,399

    Default Re: Duct is full but not engorged, lump in areola

    Welcome to the forum!

    What you describe sounds like a plugged duct, and very possibly the beginning of mastitis. Plugged ducts can be just semi-plugged, with milk continuing to exit but generally not as fast or as thoroughly as it should. So here's what I'd like to see you doing:
    - Watch yourself very carefully for increasing evidence of mastitis. This would be things like increasing redness, deep breast pain, fever, full body aches and pain, chills, general malaise and flu-like feelings. Keep a thermometer handy and take your temperature once in a while, even if you aren't feeling bad. If you are seeing more mastitis symptoms, call your doctor.
    - Call your doc and ask how to get treatment if this turns into mastitis on the weekend. Should you go to urgent care, or does your doc provide care on a weekend?
    - Operate by the old La Leche adage: "Empty breast, lots of rest." Keep the affected side as empty as possible. The more you remove milk from that side, the better chance you have of clearing out any infection- and no, the milk will not hurt your baby.
    - Since it sounds like you have assigned your babies one breast apiece, I suggest switching them for some feedings. Maybe one of your babies is a better nurser than the other and will have an easier time getting the breast unplugged.
    - Use different nursing positions. This may require you to nurse the babies seperately, but it will help getting all areas of the breast drained.
    - If the babies aren't able to clear the plug, you may want to consider using a pump to empty it.
    - Use moist heat, massage, hand expression, and vibration to clear the plug. (Vibration can come from an electric toothbrush or personal massage toy.)
    - Use cool/cold compresses to treat pain and swelling.

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