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Thread: Blocked Milk Duct?

  1. #1

    Default Blocked Milk Duct?

    Hello! I'm a new mother of a 6.5wk old and this actually just happened a few hours ago. I'm pretty sure it's a blocked milk duct because at first the top part of my breast had this semi hard lump and as I nursed it would spread. It's now all at the top and a bit on the side along with some at the top of the areola. I've been trying to nurse my LO on it (for about the last hr) but he's refusing and fusses. I've tried massaging before it was painful, hot shower, hot towel massage and it has yet to lessen.

    Right now I'm pumping (decided to feed him on the other breast because he was really fussy) and not feeling/seeing a difference. It's been about 20mins since I started. The breast is now to the point where the slightest bump to it hurts. I can't put pressure on it without a lot of pain. And the lump is about the size of my hand wrapped around it. Please help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,746

    Default Re: Blocked Milk Duct?

    Try something aside from direct heat. Heat increases inflammation. Direct massage may do the same, try manipulating breast gently rather than direct massage.

    Many ideas: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...plugsblebs.pdf

    watch out for mastitis too - more http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...atcanyoudo.pdf

    plugs can be giant. I had good success with plugs using a personal massager for vibration to break it up and nursing 'upside down'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    688

    Default Re: Blocked Milk Duct?

    If you don't own a massager, electric toothbrushes are said to help in the same way

  4. #4

    Default Re: Blocked Milk Duct?

    I own neither of those haha. Well today it got softer so I'm attempting to have LO nurse on it, he does for a few before he gets frustrated at the slow milk. How long does it usually take for the blocked up milk to go away if I get the duct unclogged? I know I should be concerned if I get a fever or red streaks etc, should I worry if the milk stays like that for more than 2 days?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Blocked Milk Duct?

    I own neither of those haha.
    Well I sent my husband out to buy the massager because I had that crazy giant plug for over a week and nothing else was working! But you can also try leaning against the washer during a spin cycle.

    It is important to do what you can to keep whatever milk you can possibly extract flowing out of the breast frequently. If baby will not nurse, try hand expression or pumping.

    Once the blockage is totally cleared the backed up milk should flow immediately assuming baby nurses well or you are expressing another way. But What may happen with plugs is the blockage may partly clear, to allow some milk get to past, and a chain reaction happen from that like a dam breaking, except in good way. Sometimes the plug will get smaller due to some milk getting past when baby nurses or mom pumps, and then larger as milk builds up again between feedings. It can take several days or even more to be completely free of a plug, but if the area is softening, then some milk is getting through, and then being replaced with new milk. In other words, it is not the same milk sitting there the whole time in many cases.

    Mastitis is not always going to result from a plug, even if they last a bit. To help you avoid it, try to get as much rest as you can, eat right, drink lots of fluids, and keep working on that plug. Mastitis is an infection and like any infection the more run down you are the more likely it is to take hold.

    If you do get mastitis, nothing really changes except you feel quite sick and may need to take anti-biotics. Otherwise you keep doing whatever you can to get the plug out and nursing as much as baby will. Mastitis will not hurt your baby.

    Hand expression: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...expression.pdf

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    34

    Default Re: Blocked Milk Duct?

    I'm sure the other ladies know better than I, but I've been having recurrent blocked ducts on the same side where I had mastitis a few weeks ago. I read somewhere a tip about latching on baby so that their chin is pointing towards the blockage and nursing them that way, and it's worked every time for me. I feel myself up frequently now so I can catch them early.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Blocked Milk Duct?

    Yes, although this specific adjustment of chin towards plug is not suggested much anymore because for some reason someone decided it does not work, (guess they had not met you, msviolaceous - thanks for proving once again that what works is often going to be individual) this is something that was suggested regularly for many years. Even if that specific positioning does not do the trick, changing/moving about the angle of baby's latch in general is probably good idea.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    34

    Default Re: Blocked Milk Duct?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Yes, although this specific adjustment of chin towards plug is not suggested much anymore because for some reason someone decided it does not work, (guess they had not met you, msviolaceous - thanks for proving once again that what works is often going to be individual) this is something that was suggested regularly for many years. Even if that specific positioning does not do the trick, changing/moving about the angle of baby's latch in general is probably good idea.
    Do you suppose it makes a difference that my babe has a particularly pointy chin?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Blocked Milk Duct?

    Oh I had one of those pointy chin babies two! Cute except when he dug it into my shoulder- ouch. Maybe that arrow head shape allows you to point more accurately.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Blocked Milk Duct?

    Haha, well I'm gonna have to figure out how to do that since the block is right at the very top of my breast. So far it's slowly going away but the area near the armpit and a bit around it is still pretty backed up so I've just been pumping it as long as I can because he doesn't want to nurse on that side often atm. Could only get about 1.5oz per .

    Did either of you have trouble with milk supply after the block went away? I worry because the last nursing of the day is always the hardest for us with him getting very little from both breasts. (Right one has a lower milk output bleh)

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