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Thread: Engorged or blocked ducts… nothing comes out when pump

  1. #1

    Default Engorged or blocked ducts… nothing comes out when pump

    I think I am experiencing either engorgement or blocked ducts. My 5 week old seems to nurse fine (doesn’t seem fussy or upset after feeding and most of the breast softens), so I think she is getting milk, but when I pump to help relieve the slight pain and hardness of an area of the breast only drops of milk come out. Also, the area that is hard has turned the skin red. I tried a warm shower and that didn’t help.
    1. Does this sound like engorgement or sound like blocked ducts?
    2. If only drops of milk come out when I pump, what should I do to help alleviate the hardness and slight pain?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,258

    Default Re: Engorged or blocked ducts… nothing comes out when pump

    Can you get baby to nurse a little more frequently? That would be my first choice if you were feeling full or hard between feedings.
    If you cannot encouraged baby to nurse more frequently, have you tried hand expression? What about if you just get in the shower and massage your breasts-do you tend to leak or not?

    If a mom has a plug and some redness, she needs to watch out for mastitis. That would present with flulike symptoms and possibly a fever and chills. When you have mastitis, that is possibly an infection so you may need antibiotics. It is safe and in fact very important that you continue to nurse during mastitis and treatment with antibiotics should they be needed.

    Engorgement can certainly cause inflammation and difficulty in expressing milk. And engorgement will also cause plugged ducts or happen at the same time as plugs. What I'm saying is you could have both going on at the same time. The best way to avoid that, is to avoid engorgement. And the best way to avoid engorgement is to have baby nurse frequently and again if baby cannot nurse frequently enough, to hand express or otherwise relieve the pressure. Pumps can actually cause more problems although if that is the only way to get milk out that's another option.

    It can make it difficult for baby to latch well when mom is engorged. Reverse pressure softening may help. Look on this website for the article called engorgement FAQs for more info on that. Otherwise is baby able to nurse effectively the rest of the time? A poor latch can also lead to engorgement and plugs and mastitis.

    Engorgement would feel like the entire breast was very full, hard or even swollen. A plug or series of plugs will feel like one or more hard spot. They can be small like a pebble or very large, The size of your hand. Both engorgement and plugs are helped by frequent and effective nursing. Warmth sometimes helps, although now the typical advice is to treat both engorgement and plugs with cold compresses to alleviate swelling. For the plugs you could also try vibration such as with an electric toothbrush or a personal massager. Massage is typically recommended, however you have to be careful not to increase the inflammation. There is a massage technique called the bag of marbles massage, where basically you manipulate your breast like a bag of marbles rather than rubbing and rubbing on one spot if that makes sense. If you search plugs, engorgement and mastitis on this site and also on www.Kellymom.com you should be able to find more information on all this.
    Does that help at all?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,799

    Default Re: Engorged or blocked ducts… nothing comes out when pump

    with LLLMeg.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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