On Thursday, I noticed a small hard painful lump in my left breast. DS is 5 months old and this is the first time with him that I've had a blocked milk gland. I am not running a fever or feeling sick. I think his teething has affected his latch a little bit, causing the problem. He is still nursing on that side and I offer that side first. However, I started trying the whole massage method and warm compresses to break up the blockage and I'm thinking that all I'm doing is making is worse. The area seems bigger now and more painful. There are also some red lines coming from that area to other parts of my breast, but they're not painful.
I'm not sure at what point to seek medical attention. As I mentioned, I'm not running a fever or otherwise sick and most things I read say it will resolve in a few days without aggressive treatment. I would be willing to wait it out, but with my first son, I had the same thing on the other breast, and it ended up abscessing and rupturing and it looked almost the same. But with that case, I started running a fever after a couple days and I was absolutely miserable. I went to the doctor that day, before it ruptured, and she gave me a prescription for antibiotics, but told me to use it only if I truly needed it. Well, I of course did that once it broke open a small amount and pus came out...
I'm trying to avoid the whole fever/pus thing this time around. My partner is encouraging me to take antibiotics now and get it lanced.
How do these normally resolve themselves? Once you break up the blockage, does the material just drain through the nipple? Or is it 'normal' for it to have a small hole where it drains from near the original blockage? Since it's going on 3 days now, can it be expected that without intervention it's just going to get worse? Anyone ever have to have one lanced or is that just crazy talk?
Ouch! I don't think mine ever got that bad, although I would get several instead of one large blocked duct. Normally I would constantly use a warm compress while massaging it and pumping if needed. Eventually, they cleared themselves up with a little assistance. Can you call a nurse at your doctors office and ask when you should come in? At least that way you won't have to make or wait for an appointment.
I had to break the nibble bleb that was causing the blocked duct to get relief. Can you see anything like this?
I also had to massage the clog out close to the nipple before I could get it to move from the big clog deep in my breast. (Hope that makes sense!)
Kellymom has some other good tips here. With red streaks I would be concerned about mastitis/abscess and would see my family doc or midwife asap.
Thanks for the support. No, I don't have anything like a milk blister on the nipple. I thought things were getting better, but yesterday it seemed worse, then today it's less red, but the hard, painful area hasn't really changed in size. Looks like I'll see if I can get in tomorrow. I'm done trying to massage it I think. All that seemed to do was make it worse. It almost seems like the tissue right under the nipple is swollen or something now. The other side is all stretchy, but the left feels sort of thickened. It was so insanely painful when I pumped this afternoon, so I had to stop. That side is notoriously bad for pumping in the first place, so this is awesome as you can imagine. Fun stuff.
ouch. i am in the same boat right now. things that have helped in the past that i'm doing now: warm comfrey compresses, lots of water, and keeping my immune system up as much as i can (eating raw garlic, drinking astragulus tea, no refined sugar, flour, etc.)
it is really uncomfortable, and in my case dd is 27 months old- it seems too late in the game to have to deal with this kind of issue! ugh. i am finding that when she latches on it is extremely painful too.
hope you are better soon!
The doctor ended up putting me on some antibiotics, but didn't seem like it was a dire problem. It's been going on over a week now, and I wish it would just resolve itself already. She suggested to keep applying the warm compresses, and massaging the area. She also said to try different nursing positions and when I pump to try to angle it different ways and empty the breast as much as possible. Nursing on that side isn't bad, but pumping is horrible. I think it's getting a little better though. It's not really painful, but it's still pretty hard underneath and the surface part seems like there a little fluid pocket. She said not to be surprised if it did rupture, but that she didn't want to poke it right now.