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Thread: HELP! Repetitive Clogged Ducts and Other Problems

  1. #1

    Angry HELP! Repetitive Clogged Ducts and Other Problems

    Baby is now 11 months, and I've now had yeast infection 2-3 times, Mastitis 2 times, and clogged ducts...probably 10! Always clogged on the right side. This one that I currently have has probably been the worst and I got mastitis from it too. I'm now on day 5 and it still hasn't gone away! Pumping about every 3 hours, taking lecithin, have done phytolaca decandra, and have tried many other home remedies: potatoes, cabbage leaf, ginger/lemon tea, hot packs, massage, I try to do long pumpings (due to so many problems in the early months, we've been exclusively pumping, no bf-ing) so I get all the milk out. I've heard about getting ultrasound done on it. Also read that using the back of an electric toothbrush can help as well, so I've of course started trying that out. How can I better prevent these constant occurances and make them go away? I feel as if this one is never going to leave. Will I want to do things that would drop my milk supply right now so I can get rid of this clogged duct, and prevent it from getting more backed up? Planning to be done pumping when he turns 1, in a month. I have no idea how I'm going to be able to wean myself off, when I get clogged milk ducts and mastitis even when I'm doing full pumpings where I get everything out. Any recommendations, other than very slowly spreading the pumping times apart and shortening the time I pump? I'm starting to think I will have to do something drastic like fasting so I literally kill off my milk supply!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    1,896

    Default Re: HELP! Repetitive Clogged Ducts and Other Problems

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum! I don't have it as bad as you do, but I have been battling two clogged ducts over the last 5 days, so I hear your pain (as soon as I got rid of one, I got a second one on the opposite side of the same breast). I managed to have only one plugged duct until my LO turned a year, but I've had several in the last couple months (she's now 14 months), which I'm attributing to less frequent drainage since I pump weaned at a year (I work outside the home, so I was pumping during the workday, nursing when at home). The thing that seems to work best for me for dealing with the plugs is hot showers + massage. For example, initially in these past days I was just doing hand expression/massage without being in the shower, and frequent nursing, and that wasn't enough to get them out. But doing the massage in the shower, followed by nursing afterward, did the trick. (In your case it would be pumping afterwards.) And I spent about half an hour on the shower massage. In terms of prevention, I do think getting the breast well-drained is important, which can be harder with the pump, since it doesn't always seem to "get" to all the parts of the breast. Do you do massage/hand compressions while pumping? Perhaps something to consider. I've heard about ultrasound, too (actually I read about it here on the forums) but I have not tried that myself, but it definitely seems like it couldn't hurt - ultrasound is perfectly safe for breastfeeding.
    In terms of pump weaning - well, you nailed it. You just need to go really, really slowly. My approach is to start with my latest pumping session in the day, gradually cut back on how much I pump during that session, and then very slowly eliminate. Then hang out there for a while before cutting down on the next session. I literally spent months pump weaning! I think if you are prone to plugged ducts and engorgement that is absolutely the way to go. If you want things to go a bit faster, I suppose you could try supply reducers like sage, peppermint, or even sudafed. I did not want to completely wean, just pump wean, so I did not go that route, but it might speed things along in your case.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    286

    Default Re: HELP! Repetitive Clogged Ducts and Other Problems

    I just had a terrible plugged duct (again), and I've had mastitis twice. Those two times were within 3 weeks of each other, I felt like I got run over by a truck!

    This last time I cleared the duct by taking a very hot (scalding!) bath twice, and laying on my stomach. Then I used a comb and some soap to massage the red spot. It worked! I was panicking, thinking I could not handle another round of mastitis while caring for two young kids by myself each day.

    Sorry I don't have any advice about the pump weaning part!
    and Mama to two little girls

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    110

    Default Re: HELP! Repetitive Clogged Ducts and Other Problems

    Aw, I really feel your pain. I've had it bad too - it seems as if some mamas are just more prone to plugged ducts and mastitis than others!

    So, my two cents worth is to echo karrieperry about the scalding bath face-down - as hot as you can stand the water - and do massage while in that awkward position, haha. I got rid of an actual milk plug that way - like the solid plug came to a nipple hole and I was able to pull it out (though it did enlarge the hole, which was very painful and took a week to heal!).

    The other thing is castor oil packs - my midwife taught me this and I do find it helps. Preferably while in the hot bath, put castor oil on a dry paper towel or rag, and then put this directly over the plugged/inflamed part, and then get a washcloth sopping wet in the hot hot water and place that over top. Hold it on there for awhile or massage it while it's on there, whatever helps.

    Baths are better than showers because then your whole breast can actually be completely submerged and soaking in the hot water, but showers are good too in a pinch!

    Good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    110

    Default Re: HELP! Repetitive Clogged Ducts and Other Problems

    Oh, also vitamin C if you feel it turning into mastitis; and I find that I get plugged ducts or mastitis when I'm run down, so (hard as it may be) getting as much sleep as possible might also help

  6. #6

    Default Re: HELP! Repetitive Clogged Ducts and Other Problems

    Thanks for all the advice ladies!! I think my clogged duct is finally gone. Now I just have to prevent all the future ones. We'll see how the whole pump-weaning goes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: HELP! Repetitive Clogged Ducts and Other Problems

    which kind of lecithin? I found sunflower liquicaps to be much, much more effective than granular.

    from the queen of plugged ducts :-(

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