REALLY REALLY blocked duct - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 07-28-2003, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm somewhat new to breastfeeding (4 months), so I didn't notice this happening, but on friday night I got a huge fever and figured out that I had a plugged duct. So I started antibiotics on saturday to get rid of the infection, but I haven't been able to clear the duct yet. It's big-- like the size of an avocado pit, and the surface of the skin over it is bright red. I've tried doing the pressure massage Dr. Sears describes and soaking it in the shower and such, but nothing's helping. Does anyone haveany ideas? I don't want surgery!
Janine
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#2 of 14 Old 07-28-2003, 11:18 PM
 
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Ouch, that sounds like it's turned into mastitis. You saw a doctor to get the antibiotics, right? Didn't the doctor say it was mastitis?

There's good info here:
http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/recurrent-mastitis.html

Briefly, what helped me most was:

1. warm compress for 5 mins before nursing
2. nurse
3. then ice pak in between nursing

take ibuprufen max dose to reduce inflammation and help with pain. Continue taking it for a few days after the plugged duct clears cause the resulting inflammation can make it likely to reoccur.

If your baby isn't nursing enough, then pump the affected breast as well.

The longest time I had a plugged duct was 3 days.
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#3 of 14 Old 07-29-2003, 01:25 AM
 
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I wonder if that isn't an abcess? And should be drained. Did the person who prescribed the antibiotics look at it?

I had tons of plugged ducts and mastitis a couple of times with my first. I massaged over the lumpy area while she was nursing with her nose pointed at the lump. I massaged it in the shower and filled up a deep sink with very hot water and immersed my breasts. That last helped the most to relieve the engorgment behind the plugged duct(s). Also taking homeopathic phytolacca helped prevent them in the first place.

SMC to Sophia, age 15, and Eleanor, age 9, and mother hen to too many nursing students to count!

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#4 of 14 Old 07-29-2003, 05:00 AM
 
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My MW told me to nurse with dd's chin on the blockage, the movement of her chin and the pressure would help clear it. I also pumped like crazy while doing a deep massage, it hurt, but helped clear it
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#5 of 14 Old 07-29-2003, 06:51 AM
 
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Sorry you are hurtin.' It sounds like a whole section of alveoli are inflamed, not just a duct. It can take longer for an infection of this size to heal, but it will heal.

Rest, nurse and take care of yourself. Stay in bed and nurse. Use warm compresses for several hours at a time. Fill a disp diaper with very warm water and apply to the breast. Or fill a crockpot with washcloths.

Take your echinacea and vitamins.

http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/mastitis.html

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...-mastitis.html
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#6 of 14 Old 07-29-2003, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the suggestions. I think I need to do more of the warm heat compresses that everyone keeps suggesting. Iguess I feel like it isn't aggressive enough. That's why I liked Dr. Sears' idea of forcing it out by a pressure massage. But no one else thinks this is a good idea! I did see my OB yesterday and she seemed to think it was a blocked duct (that's turned into mastitis). She didn't mention that it could have turned into an absess yet. But if it isn't gone tomorrow I'm to call her back.
Janine
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#7 of 14 Old 07-29-2003, 10:33 AM
 
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I used to have horrible plugged ducts. Seemed like I tried everything. Finally I found something that really worked for me- I went into the shower and just massaged the area that hurt. Soon I would see a letdown, and soon after that feel some relief.

A few weeks after I learned this trick, I saw it in a breastfeeding book- I was hand expressing.

Well, that makes sense. Sometimes the bizarre angles and pressure needed to unclog you are best accomplished in the shower, alone, with all the necessary acrobatics.

The other thing that really helped was not stressing about it. Hard to do, but well worth it.
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#8 of 14 Old 07-29-2003, 10:34 AM
 
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The warm compresses actually expand the ducts so the plug has more room to move out. The cold compresses, if you use them in between nursings/pumpings, reduce swelling, that is, fluids in the breast, such as milk, blood and lymph.
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#9 of 14 Old 07-30-2003, 01:41 AM
 
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The worst plugged duct I ever had, the milk kept building up behind and my breast kept getting bigger, and bigger, and more painful, and I had that sinking panicky feeling and didn't know what to do. I kept getting a strong urge to dunk "the girls", so I finally did just that. I filled up a deep kitchen sink with the hottest water I could, leaned over and immersed both breasts. The milk just came spewing out! And I felt so much better!! Especially after some massaging of the area that was most tender. Shortly thereafter I began taking phytolacca anytime I started to feel the slightest bit "lumpy" and I never got them that bad again.

Oh, and I did sometimes apply very strong pressure over a plugged area and kept it up even though it was painful and eventually it popped loose. This was usually while dd was nursing or while in the shower.

SMC to Sophia, age 15, and Eleanor, age 9, and mother hen to too many nursing students to count!

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#10 of 14 Old 07-30-2003, 01:53 AM
 
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I recently had a plugged duct that felt deeply embedded and hard to work out, and I started feeling the symptoms of mastitis. What worked in the end was a combination of things: I brought my isis pump INTO the hot shower with me, pumped and dumped, while massaging that part of my breast. The plug finally released, and I nursed again after the shower. Then after several hours of deep sleep I woke up feeling myself again. Whew!
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#11 of 14 Old 07-30-2003, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I see why the heat is important now. I just thought that it was supposed to loosen stuff up, but it makes sense that it would widen the ducts. Still, it doesn't seem to be working. I, too, have that sinking, panicky feeling. I think I'll be calling my Dr. today if something doesn't happen within the next few hours. Thanks for all the tips!
Janine
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#12 of 14 Old 07-30-2003, 05:43 PM
 
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I've never had a duct plugged as badly as yours seems to be, but what has helped me is nursing in tons of different positions (even laying down and draping ds over my shoulder). I let him nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse forever (very good around naptime/bedtime). He loves to nurse, and he nurses "hard", so eventually, he works out the plug.

I really hope you get unplugged soon. It sounds like you're in quite some discomfort.

Kristine
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#13 of 14 Old 07-31-2003, 12:48 PM
 
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Yesterday I was diagnosed with a breast abscess, to avoid having surgery they are putting a catheter in it to drain it several times. I have very similar sounding symptoms that have gone on for weeks. Tried all the methods of relief that everyone has mentioned. My midwife massaged it - very hard and that didn't loosen it up. The catheter is scary to me, but better than surgery and its a relief to know there's an end in sight
Meryl
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#14 of 14 Old 07-31-2003, 12:58 PM
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I get them all the time. A combination of 800mg ibuprofen (which is what I take for my migraines) and a very long very hot shower with the water pouring right onto the spot, then lots of nursing. This has worked every time for me, though sometimes it took a full day. Hope you're better soon. They are NO fun.
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