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Thread: Blebs and Plugged ducts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Blebs and Plugged ducts

    Hello, I absolutely love breastfeeding my 6 month old daughter, but we have not been without our struggles. Most of our problems stem from over supply. I need some help with blebs and plugged ducts. I have to pump or nurse every 3 hours or I get problems. That means I set an alarm at night to pump if she doesn't nurse in that time. I have eliminated most dairy, I take Lechitin and I use only deodrant (not anti-perispirant). I use only very nice bras- the Bravada silk seamless bra. I still get occassional plugs and frequent blebs. The blebs are very painful and last for several days. When I get the blebs, I use Epsom soaking and hot baths to soften them before she nurses. I even try to pry the bleb out with a sterilized needle, but I don't like doing that. Any advice on how to prevent blebs and plugs? It seems I only get them on days I am home with my daughter and not working and pumping regularly. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Blebs and Plugged ducts

    Welcome and congratulations on making it to 6 months!

    When you're pumping at night, how much are you pumping? If you're having oversupply issues, the night pumping may be perpetuating them. And if your baby is reacting to the oversupply by adjusting her latch, it could be that oversupply is contributing to the development of plugs and blebs.

    Basically, I think I'd try evening out the oversupply and seeing if that alters the situation with the blebs.

    Oh, and if it makes you feel better- I have never had a bleb that didn't eventually need to be lanced with a sterile needle. I don't know why, but heat and moisture have just never worked for me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Blebs and Plugged ducts

    I agree with the pumping, see if you can only pump to relieve, not to let-down.
    Although I wonder if that would create more plugged ducts.

    Some women find that sage tea is helpful to reduce supply. I can't speak for the amount, or how often.... I bet if you search on kellymom.com you could find good info on that. Cabbage leaves is another thing to look up.

    You must be careful with both of those, as they are also recommended to dry up supply, so you just need to do it a little bit, not too much. Again, read the info and see what they suggest.

    Good luck!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Blebs and Plugged ducts

    I also used to get plugged ducts from oversupply issues. My hyperlactation was severe, so the method of treatment recommended by my doctor may be overkill for you, depending on how bad your oversupply issues are. I recommend starting small. The lecithin is great for keeping the fat in your milk from solidifying, so that is a good start. Also, you can try to position your baby so that their chin is toward the area that tends to get clogged ducts most often.

    If oversupply and engorgement are the root cause, these need to be addressed. Working with a lactation consultant can help. Here are some tips I have found to relieve oversupply: If you are feeding/pumping from both breasts during each session, stop. Make sure during nursing that one breast is completely empty (baby will let you know if you are unsure) before you offer the other breast. When pumping, only pump one breast until empty, then only pump the other to comfort. Switch sides during the next nursing/pumping session. DO NOT use a double pump when not nursing. The specialist I saw said that pumping both breasts at once stimulates more milk production and will counteract anything else that you do. If you still have oversupply issues, try stricter block feeding (instructions are posted on this website).

    I had no luck at all with sage tea, sudafed, peppermint oil (Altoids), or the like. However, they are very effective for some. Be careful to start very small on the doseage of any of these, as they are intended to help with weaning and drying up your milk supply completely.

    Good luck!

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