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Thread: OUCH plugged duct vs mastitis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    22

    Default OUCH plugged duct vs mastitis

    I have been religious about pumping and breastfeeding, always waking 1-2 times a night to either feed or pump . well one night my baby slept 10 hrs !! and i didnt wake up on my own to pump which is very unusual.

    Yesterday morning I had a quadrant of my breast which suddenly (an hour or two after my morning work pump) became swollen and painful and hard.. It is a little better today after lots of BF, massage and pumping last night and this morning ( i work) but still painful somewhat- worse obviously when the breast is full. My question is: do I have mastitis? Or just a plugged duct that is still irritated? I do not have fever or feel bad, but my boob really still hurts, even though the swelling and localized firmness has resolved. I don't have any streaking or localized redness as of yet. Should I call the doc or just wait to see if it goes away? not sure how long to wait and see if my breast returns to normal.

    thanks for any input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,578

    Default Re: OUCH plugged duct vs mastitis

    It sounds like a plugged duct - as you describe it you don't have anything suggestive of mastitis (fever, aches, fatigue, flu-like feeling, redness/streaking). I've had a lot of plugged ducts and often even after the plug is out, there is soreness for a few more days. Or maybe the plug is not completely out yet and you need to keep working on it. I think as long as you are feeling fine you can keep working on the plug, but if you have any of the mastitis-type symptoms, put a call in to your doc.

    Here are some helpful links for plugged ducts:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...plugsblebs.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/mastitis/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,147

    Default Re: OUCH plugged duct vs mastitis

    PP nailed it, as usual.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    22

    Default Re: OUCH plugged duct vs mastitis

    thanks. Yeah, I never got fever but my boob is still achy and sore feeling. hurts to touch and im still getting stabby shooting pain in that boob at random. nursing first on that side as much as i can, and keeping my breast as empty as possible! my doc basically wont treat me until i have fever anyway, so ill just keep doing what i'm doing- there is a palpable hard spot though that no matter how hard i massage, isn't going anywhere.. i thought i had gotten it, too!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,578

    Default Re: OUCH plugged duct vs mastitis

    Have you tried dangle nursing? Basically you're on all fours and you let the breast dangle into baby's mouth. I've found that strategy to be really helpful. Another thing I found helpful was to pump just that side with hand compressions while pumping (hand compressions while nursing never seemed to work for me since it would mess up the latch or baby would protest). I've also read on here about using an electric toothbrush or personal massager to help out with the massage.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: OUCH plugged duct vs mastitis

    haven't tried the dangle yet - lol. Lily has reflux so i have been avoiding that position, but I am going to try it today! I have been going nuts with compressions, to the point that i am bruised, but i still cant get rid of the lump

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,578

    Default Re: OUCH plugged duct vs mastitis

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*emily.mclean View Post
    haven't tried the dangle yet - lol.
    My husband finds it very amusing when I nurse in that position.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: OUCH plugged duct vs mastitis

    I have been getting plugged ducts quite a bit.

    Here's what works for me once I start to feel a plugged duct either coming on, or if I eventually develop one:

    Drinking lots of water.

    Boiling parsley in a cloth (I use a cloth diaper) for ~ 10 mins, then applying right before feeding for 5 minutes - as hot as you can tolerate. This tends to cause your boob to be red in spots afterwards, don't worry. Lots of sites recommend a plain hot compress as well.

    Very firm pressing / massage of breast during feeding - sounds like you are already on this. One thing I found was to ask your partner to do it so you can focus on just getting through the pain.

    Hot baths 1x or 2x daily, where I manually express (again pressing very hard) after a feed.

    I found lecithin at the doses recommended to give me horrible headaches and nausea.

    Usually I also found it takes time for all of the above to have an impact. After a day or day and a half of the above, the following morning I notice improvement.

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