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Thread: Clogged duct still?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Clogged duct still?

    You guys have been SUPER helpful and everything is going GREAT now! I do have a new question now

    I had my first clogged duct last week - at least I'm pretty sure that's what it was. The left side of my right breast was really hard and no amount of nursing or pumping was getting rid of it. I did everything suggested (warm compresses, massage, showers, raking etc) and it finally went away about 36 hours later. Poor LO had to help mommy get rid of it!!

    So what's the problem? It seems like that side is still "firm" and not getting soft after a feeding anymore. The unaffected side still gets really soft. I try to have LO nurse as long as he's willing but it won't go away. I've been doing the same things when I had the obvious clogged duct but it's not working either. Is this normal after a clogged duct "clears"? It's still bruised but the redness has mostly gone away. I don't have the pain anymore either. I'm just concerned because my milk isn't as plentiful on that side now - the feedings are shorter from that breast and he's feeding more often since then.

    Any advice or links will be much appreciated!! (I've read a lot of the KellyMom links on clogged ducts but I can't find anything about what I'm experiencing!! )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Clogged duct still?

    What you describe sounds very much like a stubborn clogged duct. Just when you get it to drain, wham! It's back again with a vengeance.

    Here are some things you can try to keep that duct open:
    - Moist heat. Immerse the affected breast in a warm bath, or place a warm wet washcloth on it.
    - Watch your latch. A baby who is latched well drains the breast most efficiently.
    - Start nursing sessions on the affected side, as many babies feed most aggressively at the beginning of a nursing session.
    - Try hand expressing milk from that side, making sure to place some pressure on the plugged area.
    - Vary your nursing position. Sometimes a baby has trouble draining one particular part of the breast, and a simple change in position will help- going from cross-cradle hold to side-lying, for instance. Getting your baby to nurse with his chin pointing towards the clog can help, as babies usually generate the most suction in that direction. You can also try the all-fours position, in which you place your baby on his back and dangle the affected breast into his mouth. The gravity assist may help your baby drain the clog.
    - If baby can't/won't drain the plugged area, try a pump, or ask your husband/partner to give it a shot!

    And here are some things you can do to boost supply in the affected breast:
    - Keep nursing on that side.
    - Start nursing sessions on that side.
    - Don't give in to the temptation to use formula "just this once" to satisfy your frequently-nursing baby. The more your baby nurses, the faster your supply will bounce back.
    - If the above suggestions don't work, you might want to try pumping the affected side.

    Hang in there!

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