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Thread: Please help: Bad case of blocked ducts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Default Please help: Bad case of blocked ducts

    My baby is 8 months old, and has been exclusively breastfed. I have never had any clogs before. I woke up the day before yesterday night at 4 a.m. in some pain and found that my right breast (which is the higher producing side) was very hard and lumpy. I woke up the baby at 5 a.m and nursed him. I did so every couple of hours through the day putting him on the right side first. And then last night after putting him to bed, I pumped and only got a half ounce on the right side (Typically I get 2-2.5 oz on the right, and 1-1.5 oz on the left). The left was the same as usual. This morning has been much worse - I now have a lot of visible lumps, the pain has worsened, and the baby comes off the right breast in 30-45 seconds no matter how many times I put him back on (he sucks fine on the left side). I have tried pumping 3 times (with a hospital-grade pump) after applying heat packs, taking a hot shower for 25 minutes, trying to massage it etc., and collectively ended up with less than an ounce through 3 pumps. (I got 6 oz on the left side). I did try nursing him on all fours, but he was not a fan and simply moved his head away. I just got lecithin and took one dose of 1200 mg. Not sure how long it takes to kick in. I have examined my nipple thoroughly and have no white spots or blisters. Desperate for any ideas here.. I could go to my GP tomorrow but I am quite sure he will have no clue. I'd be grateful for anything I haven't tried or any insights.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Please help: Bad case of blocked ducts

    Have you tried vibration (electric toothbrush, personal massager) to break up the plugs or cold packs or ibuprofen (to reduce inflammation?) Are you feeling overall ill at all?

    Nursing and or pumping/hand expression frequently as you have been doing is key, even if you do not get "much" when you do so.

    My daughter thought it was hysterically funny to nurse 'upside down' and it worked really well for me, so I suggest keep trying that. You do not have to necessarily put baby on the floor, nor need you be on hands and knees- try popping up on elbows or whatever is most comfortable - try it in the bed or couch, and make it a game. OR, try hand expressing or even pumping with the same sort of position maybe?

    Lecithin seems to help in reducing the incidence of recurrent plugs. I am not sure how much it will help with existing plugs.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 21st, 2015 at 04:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Please help: Bad case of blocked ducts

    Thanks, maddieb. Yes, I took an ibuprofen and tried an electric toothbrush in the shower with no luck. I am feeling pretty exhausted (this was a heavy travel week for me plus houseguests), but otherwise no fever yet. Unfortunately I have never been able to hand express at all, so that's not an option (despite watching videos and many attempts in the past). I will try pumping on all fours. With nursing, the baby is not willing to stay latched on the right side for more than a few seconds due to the lack of flow I suspect. I am getting desperate so thank you for the suggestions and encouragement - appreciate it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Please help: Bad case of blocked ducts

    Ok, once I got an enormous plug that absolutely would not move. (In my case, baby was a newborn, I was cannon ball heavy engorged, and the hospital grade pump we got did NOTHING. Not a drop. I do not even remember if I hand expressed, my baby would nurse but obviously was not able to budge that plug. After several days, my husband went to the drug store and got me a personal massager. I never did a side by side comparison, but I think the vibrating surface was larger and the vibration more intense than an electric toothbrush.

    I was seriously done with that plug and went to TOWN with that thing, really pushing it deeply into my breast, and while I ended up somewhat bruised as a result, I finally broke up that plug! It was an amazing feeling. I also used lots of the "bag of marbles" massage.

    A mom I know got into the tub determined to work her plugs out manually and basically stayed in there until it happened.

    I guess my point is, sometimes you just have to get really mad at the damn thing.

    It was when my baby was around 9 months I got another plug and did the upside down nursing and cold packs, which really helped.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Please help: Bad case of blocked ducts

    I found deep massaging (to the point that it really hurts like $%#$) to be the only thing that got my plugs out (and I've had so many I can't keep track). Before and after every feeding, massage like crazy. Don't worry about expressing milk, that will happen eventually. Like hold your hand under your breast as a support (like a bookshelf bracket) and then use your other hand to press down and flatten it (like a mamogram) and with a lot of pressure, push down and out towards the nipple. This is a 6 and 12 o'clock position for your hands but if your lumps are at say, 3:00, do 3 and 9 o'clock massaging (if that makes sense!). Usually some time after you'll see a white dot at the base of the nipple and if you do, great. Using a sterilized needle, gently prod the white dot upward and outward so that the block is released. after that, massage towards that "pore" and you should see milk coming out once again.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  6. #6
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    Aug 2014
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    Default Re: Please help: Bad case of blocked ducts

    The first time I got a plugged duct, I had no idea what was going on. My daughter was 2 months old, and I thought my milk was drying up! I was terrified!

    Anyway, of all the suggestions that were given to me, the only thing that ever got rid of my plugs (I've had a few ) were either nursing while leaning over my lo so my breasts were dangling straight down or sitting and letting baby just keep sucking away. Luckily for me she was a comfort nurser, so she was content to do this. One thing that was suggested to me that is not mentioned above is to lean over a bowl of warm water and let your breast soak while massaging the area. I did not ever try that as the other two ways I mentioned above worked for me.

    Good luck, mama. Hopefully it will dissipate for you soon...

    First time mama to my bean, born 3/2012. Still . She loves her "me's".

  7. #7
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    Dec 2014
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    Default Re: Please help: Bad case of blocked ducts

    Thank you all so much for the great advice. I started Lecithin yesterday and it has made a HUGE difference. After 3 doses (of 1200 mg each), I was able to pump 3 oz this morning, and again in the afternoon. The pain has almost fully gone away and all but one tiny lump are now gone. What a huge relief - I was terrified that my supply was permanently gone on the right side. So glad it seems OK - thank you all for your advice. I always find this forum so useful!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Please help: Bad case of blocked ducts

    Thanks for the update! That is good to know about the lecithin, and thanks for mentioning dosage, that will be helpful to other moms. What form was the lecithin in?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Please help: Bad case of blocked ducts

    Just because it got better, it still doesn't mean the lecithin did it. Maybe it was just ready to become dislodged anyway and it happens to be that you took lecithin at the same time
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

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