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Thread: Reoccurring Mastitis and Plugged-ducts

  1. #1

    Default Reoccurring Mastitis and Plugged-ducts

    I am currently experiencing my second case of Mastitis (started last Thursday) and I have had reoccurring plugged-ducts. My little one is 9 weeks and is my second baby. I had BFing issues with reoccurring plugged-ducts in this same side with my 1st baby... so I am not sure if there isn't some sort of trama from the first time that has caused these issues. The plugged ducts basically feel like a ball, that I am able to work down to individual little strings that have little beads that I cannot get to go away. I have been taking lechthin, garlic, Vitamin C, a probiotic, B-Complex, and GSE to help combat prevent the plugs (no luck) and to prevent thrush. I am pumping, feeding often (we have a comforatable lach), I have him lach in different positions, iceing, constantly massaging and taking hot showers to help drain, dangle feeding, and have tried every suggested method to drain. It never seems that I am able to complely drain. With both cases of Mastitis the fever and symptoms came on extremely fast, the striping, fever, and flu like symptoms have gone away but I am still having breast sorness where the lump and beads keep showing up. Any advice would be greatly appricated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Reoccurring Mastitis and Plugged-ducts

    Do you think you might be over producing? How frequently is baby nursing? Have you tried encouraging more frequent nursing especially on the side with plugs? If you feel baby is not "emptying" the plugged and sore breast well enough, are you pumping or hand expressing after baby nurses? This may help, although it is a bit tricky as if OP is involved, pumping in particular is likely to act to increase production. But often that has to be risked temporarily so you can deal with the more immediate issue of plugs and mastitis be getting milk out of the breast frequently and reasonably effectively.

    Mastitis symptoms typically come on very fast, and symptoms often abate only to reoccur. I am unclear if you have been put on antibiotics or not? Sometimes mastitis can go away and not reoccur without them, but probably most of the time they are needed to completely clear up the infection and it is important to take the whole course.

    If you are on antibiotics is that why you are concerned about thrush? Or do you have a history of thrush?

    If you are having a hard time breaking up and eliminating a plug or plugs, I would suggest adding vibration to what you are already doing- a personal massager is what worked for me, but some moms use an electric toothbrush. "Bag of marbles" indirect massage may help more than direct massage, because direct massage may increase inflammation. Same with heat. I would suggest direct heat to your back, neck and/or shoulders rather than directly to the breasts, that is usually enough to help with milk flow and avoids the heat causing more inflammation.

    You can also consider taking an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; May 3rd, 2016 at 11:40 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Reoccurring Mastitis and Plugged-ducts

    I haven't tried the indirect heat or vibration. I will try that. I have been on antibiotics for both rounds of Mastitis. Today is my last day on the second round of antibiotics. I have a history of Thrush and since I have been on antibiotics I have been trying to avoid.

    I definitely have an issue with over production. So when I have not been dealing with plugs I have been trying to fix the overproduction by block feeding. My LO nurses every 2 hours sometimes every hour and sometimes every 3. He starts feeding at 6 am then 8:30 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 4:30 pm, 6 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm, 10 pm, 11 pm, 12 pm--- then picks back up at 6 am. When I am dealing with mastitis I usually wake LO at 3 am for a feeding and try to keep our schedule at every 2 hours. It's been hard to regulate with the plugs that keep coming back.

    I have been trying to not pump to not encourage more production but have been pumping with plugs to try to empty breast. However, pumping does not seem to totally empty breast. Nothing really seems to empty this one breast. The other is not a problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Reoccurring Mastitis and Plugged-ducts

    Block feeding is certainly tricky when trying to deal with plugs. Block feeding requires that the breast be "blocked" -left for a time without milk removal in order to get full- so that the fullness tells that body to reduce milk production- and of course, leaving the breast to get full is something that leads to plugs and/or mastitis, especially in moms who are more 'prone" to developing plugs or mastitis.

    I would suggest that while 'draining' or emptying the breast may help with clearing plugs, it is probably not needed in preventing them. Personally I got rid of an enormous plug without ever really 'emptying' the breast, using very frequent milk removal by baby, -enough so it could get the breast softer but not empty- and vibration. By frequent I mean I encouraged baby to nurse as much as baby would when awake, which was often more than once an hour, and set my alarm so baby would nurse every 2-3 hours overnight.

    Some lactation consultants suggest that if a mom is block feeding, she can lessen the risk of plugs by hand expressing or pumping just enough to slightly soften the breast even when that breast is being blocked. Genna talks briefly about it here- http://cwgenna.com/blockfeeding.html

    There is also something called Full Drainage and Block Feeding- a technique for battling OP that is not responding to regular block feeding- basically you do everything you can to 'empty' the breasts ONE TIME (and then only as needed-but not more than once a day- preferably) and then block nurse.

    Don't forget that when you have mastitis, you are ill- even when you do not feel ill. Rest is very important.

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