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Thread: Recurring problem of dried milk blocking nipple opening

  1. #1

    Default Recurring problem of dried milk blocking nipple opening

    Hi Moms

    I am exclusively breastfeeding my 6 month old. I am frustrated with recurring blocked ducts. This started in the early days and even now I get them every week. A section of the breast gets backed up with milk and "caked". Generally it's the same area of the breast.

    I know that there is dried milk stuck in the opening which prevents milk from flowing. I do hot compress, soak my breasts in hot water, pressure massage and sometimes I can see a white dot appear on the nipple which I can squeeze out if I am lucky. But it takes a couple of days to clear out and is quite painful. I spend way too much time on my breasts and I am so fed up. I take Lecithin 1200 mg 4 times a day. I have spoken to several lactation consultants but none have been able to tell me how to prevent dried milk from blocking the nipple opening.

    Any of you ladies have had this problem and know how to prevent it?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Recurring problem of dried milk blocking nipple opening

    I think some moms are just more prone than others to having clumpy milk. You might want to try reducing saturated fat in your diet- I have heard that it can help- and also looking into the possibility that you may have subclinical mastitis, which can cause milk to be clumpier than normal. This link from kellymom.com may be of use: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/moth...rent-mastitis/

    I am sorry you've been coping with this for so long! I can completely understand your frustration.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Recurring problem of dried milk blocking nipple opening

    I've had this problem, too, though not as bad and now not happening much. When LO was around 2-5 months, I would feel like one part on the R breast was tender, swollen full of milk that was not draining, always in the same spot. Then I would notice a small white dot, just like you are describing. My problem would usually resolve within 24 hours of nursing and taking a hot shower. At one point, maybe at 3 months, this was happening once a week. Eventually I learned to gently press my thumbnails around the area (pressing down on the skin around the spot, not inward on it) to work the little white clump out of the duct, pausing every few seconds to do some gentle compressions to see if the force of the milk could help in pushing out the clump. Now I can almost always work out the little white spot, which is like dried milk or maybe calcium build up; sometimes it's really hard like a grain of sand. After removing it, I manually express the built up milk or pump or nurse to get relief.

    My problem happens less and less now (he's 7.5 mthns). I feel like the occurrence decreased in frequency once I learned how to remove the bleb or plug or whatever it is, like maybe the working of it out stretched the duct opening so that the clumps pass more freely. Perhaps it's just my breast getting used to making milk, but maybe it's something else. I can't say. I wish I had a better answer for you--I just wanted you to know others have experienced the same thing. I did read, maybe in the LLL book "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding," that applying a cotton ball soaked in vinegar will help break down the minerals in the white spot. I think it recommends soaking with vinegar for about 30 minutes (or an hour?), then rinsing off vinegar so baby won't taste it, then nursing. But other things you are doing like the hot compress, shower, lecithin, are all things that are also recommended. Also lots of nursing. I feel like I get more white spots when I am pumping a lot during the day--baby is the most effective remover of milk, so maybe if you are pumping you could try nursing more.

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