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Thread: Clogged Milk Duct for 24 hours or more

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Clogged Milk Duct for 24 hours or more

    I first noticed a huge painful lump in my right breast yesterday morning. I have taken hot showers, soaked it in hot water, massaged it, and pumped all day yesterday. I have also started each feeding on that side first. It still there and very painful. What else can I do??? How long does it take to unclog a duct?? I also want to know is my son getting enough milk from the left side or should I supplement??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Clogged Milk Duct for 24 hours or more

    Keep doing what you're doing mama. That's the best way to clear a plugged duct. The baby is a thousand times better than a pump, so nurse as much as you can, rather than pumping.

    Try going to bed and resting and nursing. Plugged ducts can be signs that you are doing too much too soon (BTDT).

    I tend to apply a heating pad, when not nursing, to the affected area. The hot showers help, but I find I need more than just that. With my second baby, I used wool nursing pads, and those really truly helped with decreasing the number of blocked ducts. They keep your breast warm, which supposedly helps prevent blockages.

    Tylenol or Advil for pain and inflammation.

    The other thing to do . . what I do when I have a plugged duct that won't clear (and some of mine have taken >48 hours to clear) . .. is make sure you don't have a plugged PORE. At the end of your nipple are multiple pores the milk comes out of, and sometimes those will plug up. Express some milk and look for a white bleb. If you see that, that's the source of the plugged duct, and it will need to be opened.

    Don't supplement. Your baby, if there's enough wets and poops, is getting adequate milk, even with one "channel" blocked. Supplementing will actually backfire on you. . . The baby will be full, won't nurse adequately, and the blockage will worsen, possibly turning into mastitis, and your supply will decrease as well (no supplementing for at least the first 6 weeks!).

    Here's a good resource. http://www.llli.org/FAQ/mastitis.html
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Clogged Milk Duct for 24 hours or more

    Thank you! My Doctor just called in an antibiotic but I am hesitant to fill it due to the possibility of drying my milk supply up. I can't believe after only 24 hours she wants me to take medicine and go see a breast surgeon to drain it and have an ultrasound of the breast. Sounds a bit extreme to me. I will keep trying to unclog the duct myself and see what happens. I am really afraid of getting mastitus though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Clogged Milk Duct for 24 hours or more

    I agree with pp...look for a bleb, a plugged pore on the nipple. I had a couple of those and didn't make the connection with my sore boob and plugged duct! They went away after nursing, hot showers, massage, and all that other stuff. If you do see one, you can gently squeeze it, preferably in a hot bath or shower, and try to remove it. It's a little piece of dried milk. Once it's out, your milk will either spray out, or if you compress your breast, you will have an amazing fountain from all that built up milk that had nowhere to go. I agree, 24 hours is too soon to have it lanced by a doctor...if you keep working at it, it should clear.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Clogged Milk Duct for 24 hours or more

    Resting as much as possible with a plugged duct will help to avoid mastitis. One thing that has worked well for me is massaging while hand expressing at the end of a hot shower. Depending where the plug is, hand expressing can allow you to massage spots that you wouldn't be able to while pumping. Hand expressing is a learned skill, but can be worth the time learning how to do it. http://www.lactationinstitute.org/MANUALEX.html

    Here's some info on using ultrasound to break up a clog. http://www.kellymom.com/newman/22blo..._mastitis.html
    DS 1/2006 9 lb. 2 oz. 22 in.
    DD 10/2008 8 lb, 2 oz. 20 in.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Clogged Milk Duct for 24 hours or more

    I have had several with each of my babies. i have 3 boys and have had mastitis 2x with my first two boys. This time around I have been able to avoid full blown mastitis by soaking in a very warm tub, and under water really pushing the clog or painful lump towards the nipple. By the end of the baths the tub looked like I took a milk bath, but they didn't lead to the dreaded M. I even have gotten those bizarre ones in the armpits, which are the worst. I got those with number 2 as well and I was able to use accupuncture as a relief in addition to massaging. It was very interesting to have needles in your body while nursing a baby.

    Good luck I know it is hard.

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