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Thread: My first clogged duct?

  1. #1
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    Default My first clogged duct?

    My babe sleeps usually about 7 hours now, thank goodness. But this morning, when I woke up, my breasts were really engorged (as usual) yet there is a warm, very tender spot on the side of my left one. I felt for a lump but I couldn't tell if it was actually hard, or just breast tissue. Does it sound like a clogged duct? If so, should I try to solve it myself or go straight to the doctor with it?

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: My first clogged duct?

    If it is really tender, than more than likely it is a clogged duct. I just got over a clogged duct and I didn't go to the dr. I just started every nursing session on that side, applied moist heat, and when your child is nursing, massage the tender spot. If you start running a fever, then it has probably turned into mastitis. If that happens, I would call your dr. I had mastits around 5 months ago, and my dr. just checked it out and prescribed me some antibiotics to help me get over it. Hope you get better!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My first clogged duct?

    It is very tender... I felt it more thoroughly as I was nursing her, and the breast drained but not that spot. It's as if there is a frozen pea inside, and the tissues surrounding it stay engorged, even when the breast is emptied.

    Massaging it sent a stingy, itchy kind of feeling through the surrounding area.
    I'm guessing this is what it is...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My first clogged duct?

    It does sound a lot like a clogged duct to me. I get them all the time, unfourtunately. If I do nothing about it, it resolves within about 48 hours. But in the meantime, it hurts. the suggestions of heat, and massaging (although its painful, I know) help like the PP said. I find massaging while in a hot bath or hot shower helps too. Although sometimes I just wait it out. Get as much rest as you can while you have the plugged ducts. I usually notice I get mine when I've been doing "too much". But isn't that the case of most mothers- we're busy people? Its hard to not do "too much"....but sometimes its especially important to get more rest. I find that helps a lot when I have the plugged duct too.

    I hope you're feeling better soon!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My first clogged duct?

    Into the shower you go! Lots of hot water spraying down on the spot while you massage. Same thing while dd is nursing that side. Offer it first right now, since her suck is strongest then.

    Let us know if you still have it...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: My first clogged duct?

    It's still there. Very tender!

    One side of my breast is engorged and the other half (more like 2/3) of it drains and gets soft. Unfortunately, about halfway through the day, my temp went up to 99, I have had headaches, mild muscle aches, and I've felt very groggy. Should this be considered mastitis?

    I have been massaging it while baby nurses and taking Tylenol... The hot shower felt VERY good on it, too

    I plan to call my doctor ASAP, but I have a few concerns. What happens to the milk behind the clog? Does it just keep producing until it's too swollen to bear, or does it stop at some point? If it does stop producing, will it start back up when the clog frees?

    What happened was, I have oversupply and OALD, so I was feeding one breast per feeding. I decided to extent these blocks to four hours instead of two, and a few days later, woke up with this apparent clog.

    So, with the oversupply, is there any way I can nurse to help remove the clog, but not increase my supply?? If I offer the clogged side first, she'll fill up on it, and the right side will never get nursed. What should I do?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My first clogged duct?

    Sasha, this is getting a little more complicated. Is there any way you could call a trusted local LLLL or LC? I am just on my way out for the morning but here is some info on mastitis and plugged ducts. It is a good idea to call your doctor today. You really do need to get that spot unplugged ASAP!

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBbreastproblems.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/mastitis.html (not LLL)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: My first clogged duct?

    I hope to hear from you again when you have the time... I'm really confused as to what to do about this... I've been massaging, but still no luck. I called the doctor and am going in this evening.

    Meanwhile I've just been trying to nurse on the sore side first (let down hurts!), then unlatch her and put her on the other side. This might make my oversupply worse, but I'm not sure what else to do right now... I don't want the sore, left side to get engorged obviously, but I don't want the right side to get that wya either and risk clogging that one up too.

    We had a pretty good routine until the past few days, now my breasts are totally changing their behaviour, and I am scared that this is somehow going to screw up our breastfeeding success... The sore side is producing less now, which I thought would be good, but is kind of scary. And since one breast isn't getting fully drained at a feeding like before, the right one always seems full. Argh.

    Thanks for the links, I hope to see you around here again soon...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My first clogged duct?

    Update:

    I went to the doctor and he examined the lump. He said it could be infected so prescribed me some pain medication and antibiotics.

    What is strange though, is that he said it "can't be a clogged duct because milk is still coming out" and "don't nurse the baby on that breast because if it's infected it could make her sick"- But this, to me, makes it sound like he knows absolutely nothing about breastfeeding.

    First of all, how could it get infected in the first place if there weren't a clog? Doesn't he know that there are many ducts in the breasts, and the others might not be clogged?? And everything I've read says that you SHOULD nurse your baby on that breast a lot, because it helps to remove the clog, and that it won't hurt your baby.

    I don't understand why all of the health professionals in my life tell me the exact opposite of the breastfeeding specialists' advice!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My first clogged duct?

    Oh gosh, I am so sorry you received conflicting information today and are feeling frustrated. Do you feel comforatable with the links I gave you? According to LLLI your doctor is most certainly misinformed. You may choose to share this info with him, or you might consider finding a more helpful doctor.

    In any case, how are you feeling now? Has your fever spiked at all? It is so important that you rest and take care of yourself during this time.

    It is good that you received some pain meds and the antibiotic. You might consider taking precautions to guard against thrush at this point. (I know...as if you need one more thing to worry about. ) But a predisposing factor for thrush is antibiotic use. You might check this article for some preventative measures you can take while on the antibiotics. Many moms find it helpful to use an acidophilus supplement along with some of these other recommendation:

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...tNov98p91.html

    Ok, so according to the BAB: "Mastitis is a general term used to refer to any inflammation of the breast. It is not always possible to determine if the mother's breast inflammation is due to an infection or a plugged duct, as it is possible for a mother to run a low-grade fever weven without a bacterial infection. The term mastitis covers both possibilities."

    Again from the BAB: "The following symptoms may indicate a mother has a bacterial infection. She should be encouraged to contact her doctor for treatment if she has:
    * a cracked nipple with obvious signs of infection
    * pus and blood in her milk
    * red streaks from the site of the infection back into her breast
    *sudden and severe symptoms with no identifiable cause

    A plugged duct:
    *comes on gradually
    *may shift in location
    *the mother feels little or no warmth in the area
    *the pain is mild and localized
    *the mother feels generally well
    *her temp is lower than 101 degrees

    A breast infection:
    *comes on suddenly
    *is localized
    *the mother's breast is red, hot and swollen
    *the pain is intense but localized
    *the mother has flu-like symptoms
    *her temp is 101 or higher

    Ok, so now that I have totally confused you, where do you go from here?

    You can:
    *apply wet or dry heat to the affected area-gently massaging the area while it is warm-and remove any dried milk secretions on the nipple by soaking it with plain water. Lean over a basin of warm water or lie on your side in a warm bathtub and soak your breast for 10 minutes 3 times a day. Also use hot wet pack, heating pad or hot water bottle between feedings.
    *Apply direct pressure downwards as dd nurses from the affected side. Direct pressure, constant and gentle, can help free the blocked duct. So, find the spot and position your fingers just above it, and gently press downward while dd nurses.
    *try to nurse right after heat treatment
    *nurse frequently on the affected side (I know you are concerned about the oversupply issue, but you can deal with that after you get the plug out. We will help you with that, don't worry! )
    *loosen all constrictive clothing including your bra. In fact, do without if possible.
    *Vary nursing positons. This may help, as long as dd latches well. Try positioning at least once during feeding with dd's nose or chin pointing toward the plug.
    *Rest, rest, rest.

    Also in the BAB: A lump that does not respond within several days to the usual treatment for mastitis should be checked by a doctor.

    I know you have already "been checked by a doctor" and are not completely happy with what he said. You might continue to try the above suggestions and the ones in the links and then if they do not help, it may be necessary to see him again (or someone else.)

    Again, don't worry about supply. Your supply may actually drop on the affected side. If you want, you can bring it back up later. But I know you have been dealing with oversupply, so maybe that is not going to be an issue.

    Hang in there!

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