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Thread: Preventing Clogged Milk ducts??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    85

    Question Preventing Clogged Milk ducts??

    I've been pumping exclusively for about 5.5 weeks now and have gotten about 5 clogged milk ducts. I got mastitis after my 2nd one. Anyone know what I can do to help prevent them? I have never *missed* a pump session -- I do it every 4-5 hrs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: Preventing Clogged Milk ducts??

    Here's a Dr. Jack Newman article with a couple of ideas:

    http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/22pdf.pdf

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Preventing Clogged Milk ducts??

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...-mastitis.html

    heres some info form kelly moms.
    Some moms find they have to figure out what works well for them.
    pumping more often might help.
    Some moms also find that around 6-12 weeks along milk supply seams to even out and it gets beter and they don't have too much trouble.

    hows your bra fitting? some moms have trouble because their bra is too tight.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Preventing Clogged Milk ducts??

    I suffered from a LOT of clogged ducts with DS #1 -- at least once a month for nearly the first year I was not pumping at all but nursing on demand. I talked to my LLL leader and she suggested a few things that I'll pass on.

    A few things I did was to look at my saturated fat intake and really truly cut it down even further. I was already eating a low fat diet, but I cut it down a lot. Saturated fat is sneaky, so it takes a little work to really do it.

    I started taking lecithin too. Can't remember the dosage, but I'm sure someone here knows it.

    I also nursed more often, even if I thought the baby wasn't starving. He was amenable to taking just a little nip.

    If I even thought I was getting a plugged duct, I took immediate action of massage, heat and expression.

    I only wear non-underwire bras, and I had a professional fitting.

    They stopped after all that, and it also coincided with the time my breasts finally stopped leaking. So I don't know if anything really worked, but I was a lot more comfortable.

    Interestingly enough, I've had one blocked duct this time. But I've really watched my diet. This baby doesn't eat if he's not hungry. I express enough to get 12 oz for the one morning shift a week I work. I've also used wool nursing pads, which are supposed to help with preventing blocked ducts. Who knows.

    Good luck!
    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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Preventing Clogged Milk ducts??

    takeing one 1200 lecithin pill 3 times a day made a hug difference for me.

    here is a link that tells you about it.
    http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vi.../lecithin.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Preventing Clogged Milk ducts??

    As several other people have said, be sure to pump often (maybe a little more when you feel one coming on), massage if you feel the need to, wear bras without underwire, and try to add in some lecithin. Lecithin is a natural emulsifier, and works really well to help combat plugged ducts and mastitis. And I did also find for me personally, I had less of a tendency towards clogged ducts after 2-3 months had passed. I kind of got into my groove and my supply just evened out. So hopefully it should become less of a problem soon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Preventing Clogged Milk ducts??

    I agree with all the above. I made sure to get loose fitting nursing bras without underwire. I also used a heating pad to keep my breasts warm before pumping. Then I would massage and pump. Heat, massage, and pump...that's what did the trick. I also noticed that if I ever started leaking, it was indicative of an impending blocked duct. So before it got worse, out came the heating pad. In fact, even though it's NOT recommended by the manufacturer, I did sleep between pumping sessions with the heating pad. I also purchased the microwavable beaded bags and kept using them to keep my breasts warm as I massaged. Hot showers and massage also helped. And I was exclusively pumping every 3 to 4 hours. I started noticing that if I overdid it or overworked myself, I became more prone to the blocked ducts. If I didn't get enough sleep or if I overtaxed myself, I would get them. So try to take it easy too!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Preventing Clogged Milk ducts??

    One question for all-What is with the no underwire in the bra? I wear one with it and I seem okay. Should I not use it?

    This is one thing I was told to help with the milk ducts, was to heat a little olive oil and take a cotton ball and soak it on your nipple for a bit, then express the milk. If you do it a few times a day it should go away.
    My little surprise born 2 December 2009 7 lbs 1 oz 20 inches.

    Our goal is 1 year, but I'm willing to go 2!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Preventing Clogged Milk ducts??

    I found that with an underwire bra, if I am ever in an awkward position or I move in such a way that the wire shifts or presses against my breast, then I'm going to get a clogged duct. I had a wedding to go to this past month and I decided to wear an underwire bra I had not worn in 10 months. I got two blocked ducts within two hours!!!!! I've buried that bra in my drawer now. The less pressure points on your ducts, the better ; )

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