I think I have a blocked duct (the side of my breast is tender, less pain after feeding), but I'm finding some of the guidelines for treating it confusing:
1. I'm reading that I should start each feed on the side with the blocked duct and make sure to empty the breast before stopping. Even to pump if the baby doesn't empty it. But when I look up how to tell if the breast is empty, everyone says your breasts are never totally empty and there is no real way to tell. So how do I do this?
2. The best indication your breast is mostly empty seems to be that the baby stops wanting to eat from it. But my guy is something of a snacker and often will feed for just 5-10 minutes every hour or so. So I can't assume the breast is "empty" just because he's stopped, right? Is this bad for the duct? Should I be pumping after a short feed even if he'll be eating again soon?
3. Since he usually only feeds for short periods, he rarely wants both breasts in a feed. So if I'm always starting with the affected breast, he's rarely drinking from the other. Doesn't this put me at risk for getting blocked ducts on the breast he's not drinking from? How do I avoid that?
4. My guy is only a month old and doesn't have great head control yet, so I still need two hands almost always to feed--one to keep his head in position and one to keep my breast in position. Many of the other suggestions for treating a blocked duct seem to require an extra hand: Massaging the duct, holding a warm compress there. How do people manage this? Am I stuck just doing those things before the feeding, and will that still be effective?
Sorry this is so long... I'm trying to make sure it doesn't get worse and am getting frustrated with the information available.