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Thread: Calcified ducts??

  1. #1

    Default Calcified ducts??

    I've been dealing with recurrent stubborn clogged ducts since day one , now it's been almost 5 months. I am taking over 3600 mg of lecithin, on a strict diet and drink lots of water Have seen many lactation consultants and spoken to many lalecheleaders . I do all the typical things suggested to get rid of them but a lot of the times I cannot unclog them. What I believe is happening is the clog remains in the spot and the backed up milk gets reabsorbed into my body. I have many hard bumps in my breast from old clogs, does anyone know if this does happen and if they will ever go away? I have been to the breast surgeon and had many ultrasounds to make sure no abscesses formed, but the breast surgeon doesn't seem to know anything about clogged milk ducts . I'm worried about my ability of being able to keep making enough milk if this keeps happening , and for future pregnancies and children .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,382

    Default Re: Calcified ducts??

    Hi sbsalim. I am so sorry you have had such a difficult time with plugs! How frustrating.

    I am not sure why you are concerned about future pregnancies? I am also not sure that plugs with one baby mean you will have plugs with another.

    As far as your milk production...is your baby currently exclusively breastfed? Any sign your milk production has been harmed? As long as milk removal continues to be at normal levels I am not sure why plugs would cause production issues.

    I do all the typical things suggested to get rid of them but a lot of the times I cannot unclog them.
    Ok, here are some less typical suggestions. Have you tried using cold compresses? Vibration? (a personal massager works well.) Ultrasound performed by a physiotherapist? These and other ideas can be found here: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...plugsblebs.pdf

    By far the best way to avoid plugs is by very frequent and effective milk removal. You have seen many LCs- did they all properly assess all aspects of breastfeeding including latch, and how well baby transfers milk? Are there long periods here and there that baby is not nursing? Do you have overproduction?
    What I believe is happening is the clog remains in the spot and the backed up milk gets reabsorbed into my body.
    ? or could the milk be getting past the plug? Plugs do not always or even typically cause a complete block.

    but the breast surgeon doesn't seem to know anything about clogged milk ducts .
    Unfortunately, few doctors know anything about breastfeeding.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Calcified ducts??

    Thank you for your response. I exclusively pump using a hospital grade medela pump because he won't take my breast and he's allergic to all formula . I pump every two hours during the day and four to six hours at night . Thanks for the suggestion, that's actually what I do to get out the clogs when they do come out, cold compresses to reduce inflammation and my sonic toothbrush. I'm more concerned about the now making enough milk at this rate . On good days when I don't have a clog, I make just enough milk and some really good days I make a little extra from what baby drinks . But most days I'm fighting a clog , and when I do have a clog for longer than a day, my supply significantly drops and it takes me weeks to get back up. You may be right that milk may be passing through the clogs I'm not sure . What I'm wondering is will these clogs ever go away? I have at least ten small to medium hard lumps from past clogs that I worry have stopped or limited production from those ducts. I'm scared at this rate all my ducts will have clogs in them and I won't be able to make enough milk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,382

    Default Re: Calcified ducts??

    Ok so if you EP, then whether the milk removal is optimal depends on your pumping routine and the effectiveness of your pump. Unfortunately since pumps extract milk differently than do babies, they often do not work as well for optimal milk removal.

    Your pump frequency sounds mostly fine although you might want to figure out if the plugs in any way seem to correlate with the stretches of 4 or more hours between pumping. Upping milk removal frequency is helpful both for plugs and for increasing milk production.

    But what about pump effectiveness? Have your LCs gone into that? Watched you pump, helped you troubleshoot your pump, tested your pump? Do you regularly change the membranes and check all connections? Have you tried different sized flanges, or experimented with different pumps, etc? What about adding hand expression to your pump routine? Have you adjusted your pumping position? Some moms find they need to adjust flange position several times a session to get optimal milk removal. Also maybe try pumping one side at a time (if you usually do two) or two sides at a time (if you usually do one.)

    Of course the other thing many moms find helpful for low milk production are galactagoges. Are you taking those? It concerns me a bit as plugs usually mean there is more than enough milk being made...so I would be concerned galagtagogues might make the plug situation worse, if you cannot figure out and fix the milk extraction problem that is probably at the root of the issue for the plugs AND any lowered milk production you are experiencing.

    If reducing inflammation with the cold is helping, maybe talk to doctor about doing some kind of regular anti-inflammatory dosing for a period of time? Our pediatrician suggests this when my son's have inflammation from sports injuries.

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