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Thread: Partially Plugged Duct?

  1. #1

    Default Partially Plugged Duct?

    I am in such a state...I'm currently nursing my 9-month old daughter (our third child; the older two were nursing champions just like this babe), but I suffer from persistent and recurrent plugged ducts in my right breast. Back in January things got really bad and I had what seemed to be a permanent lump on the right side of my right breast. I consulted my Midwives, went for an ultrasound and was told that everything looked fine. (i.e. I do not have cancer, though no one suggested how to fix the problem).
    After the U/S, things continued on. (I work full-time and pump 4x / day to get the 12 ozs that I send to daycare). I have always struggled to pump enough milk for my babes, but this time around things have been easier (third baby = more milk. Yay!). My supply seems okay. But now I have a hard, small lump in my nipple. It is NOT a bleb, I cannot for the life of me find any white spot on my nipple. At this point, I would gladly trade a winning mega-millions ticket to find something (ANYTHING) that I could poke with a needle to release this thing.
    For the last 5 days, nursing has been unbearable. I suffer through it, but the pain is horrendous. I am at a loss as to what to do. I take 4 lecithin pills a day. I drink water like it is going out of style. I've been taking EmergenC. I've tried WishGarden Healthy Ducts Tincture. I spend every waking moment with a hot, wet diaper on my breast (removing it only to pump or nurse). I've tried holding a vibrating, battery-powered razor (sans blade) to my nipple. I've soaked in Epsom salts. I've used castor oil compresses (this is the one that has always worked for me in the past). I've done dangle-feeding. I've changed up nursing positions. I've tried to suck it out myself. All to no avail. (I've get to ask DH to try to suck it out...this is my next move!)
    I'm also tried to squeeze my nipple between finger and thumb to work the lump closer to the nipple opening. This is absolutely horrific. I told a nursing friend at work that I feel worse than I did in labor. I am nauseated with the pain.
    Please, if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, send them my way. My left breast is so wonderful...it is flopsy after a feeding and I can easily express milk from it after a pumping session. I know that I am blessed to only have things be horribly wrong half of the time. I just wish that I could fix this so that I am not in tears the other half.
    Thanks kindllly in advance,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Partially Plugged Duct?

    Welcome to the forum! I'm so sorry you're having such a rough time.

    My first thought is that you could have a small plug inside the nipple. Plugged ducts aren't always the tangerine-sized lump way back in the breast that we tend to expect- you can also see little pea-sized lumps much closer to the nipple. I think you are doing exactly what you should be doing to get this to resolve. In addition, I would try a different size of shield for your pump- it's possible that your shields doesn't fit right and that is causing/perpetuating the problem. I would also examine the nipple very carefully after nursing. I believe you 100% that this is not a bleb and you're not seeing a white dot- but I would check anyway. sometimes blebs are most noticeable after you nurse or pump, if you simply try to express milk and you look very carefully at the surface of the nipple as you do so. They may not look like a classic white dot- sometimes they are more like a tough bubble. Worth another look, I think- if only to be 200% sure!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Partially Plugged Duct?

    Hi there,

    I.had also expirenced something similar in last couple of weeks. A small but persistent blockage in areola, it was painful to nurse on that side and no amount of warm compresses, changing positions, vibrating massage could relieve it. I was resigned to fact that I may need to wean from that side.

    Then some days ago I impulsively purchased a body exfoliator shower gel online which has fine pumice granules. After using it in shower I hand expressed the affected side, I saw thick greenish yellow discharge from a duct and it instantly‚Äč drained the small blockage.

    Later I figured out that there must have been a small Callus (overgrown skin) near/ on nipple pore that caused it to drain at slower rate hence I would feel constant presence of pea sized lump near my nipple. This was mostly caused by my son's chipped tooth which was rubbing on same site repeatedly, thankfully it did not cause cracking but the small injury caused callous formation. It was never visible to naked eye as it was same color of my nipple, but yes now I notice there was some extra toughness on that spot.

    So when exfoliating gel removed extra cell debris the pore's access was eased and backed up milk was able flow more freely. Also I noticed side lying feeding from that side caused more irritation and injury so I entirely avoid this.

    9 months is peak teething period so maybe something similar to my case maybe happening to you. In any case having a hot shower with some exfoliation would not hurt so can be given a shot.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Partially Plugged Duct?

    Thank you so much for this! I developed mastitis last week and though the antibiotics have helped tremendously, I still feel that the root of all evil on my right side is this little bump! I saw a breast specialist yesterday and she told me that there is nothing that she can do for me. She said that it is just a duct, though she did acknowledge that it feels completely different than any other spot on either of my nipples. She said my only choice would be to slice my nipple open at the areola, remove the lump and stitch me back up, thereby ending any nursing on that side. Why do surgeons love their scalpels so much???
    At the very least, you have given me something else to try! I'm off to the online shops!
    S ;-)

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