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Thread: Unsuccessful hand expression after plugged duct

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Unsuccessful hand expression after plugged duct

    Hi KNowledgeable Mamas!
    I have a five month old (my 4th child), EBF. I had a plugged duct for five or six days this week and got rid of it with lots of breastfeeding. I tried to go back to work yesterday and hand express there - which usually goes very well for me - and from that side, nearly nothing came out. I had to run home to BF her!
    Is this a result of the plugged duct? Will this resolve after a few more days of BF'ing my daughter? I need to be able to go back to work and pump/hand express and in gen'l be able to be away from my baby for a few hours.....
    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Unsuccessful hand expression after plugged duct

    There are many reasons why expressing milk while away from baby might become harder as baby gets older. In other words it might be related to the plug or it might not. First it would help to know how much you were typically able to express before, and what you are expressing now, and how that differs from the other breast? By this age many moms see a natural reduction in the amount they can express at once.

    Are you seeing no change at all in your ability to express milk in the other breast? Do you feel as though there is milk, but you are just not able to get it out when expressing? Did you try pumping as well?

    A few ideas that may have caused this-
    The plug led to overfullness and your body got the message to reduce production in that breast. In that case, your child nursing lots should increase production and help the issue.
    There are still plugs or inflammation (swelling) in the breast causing poor milk removal.
    That side has for a while not been 'stimulated" enough with frequent/effective enough milk removal, which would lead to both the plug AND a reduction in production.
    Your milk production is reducing a bit naturally (perhaps you had more than enough before) and where that is obvious is in the amount you are able to express. Since babies are better at milk removal than anything else, some mom find they need to actually be making more than enough milk to express much milk.

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