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Why do I keep getting blocked ducts?

(7 Posts)
spaceal Wed 06-Jul-11 06:37:29

Just that really. Why do I keep getting blocked ducts?

Am ebf my 18-week old DD and over the last couple of months I've been getting a blocked duct every couple of weeks or so. Mostly on the right boob.

I've managed to clear them quite quickly, following all the usual advice, and, touch wood, not developed mastitis (so this isn't a 'how do I resolve a blocked duct?' thread) BUT I do want to try to work out if there might be a reason why I might be getting them, and what I might able to do to prevent them.

DD feeds every 2-3 hours during the day, more frequently in the evening. Her night feeding varies a lot - we've just had a few days of very frequent (hourly) waking/feeding but we've also had a lot nights of just a couple of feeds (midnight-ish and 4ish). She generally feeds in 10-20 minutes, takes both boobs during the day, and I alternate at night. I think her latch is good (definitely works!) and she seems to feed fairly efficiently.

Any ideas? Thanks.

twinklegreen Wed 06-Jul-11 07:55:14

Basically blocked ducts occur when the breast is not being fully drained, there are many possible causes of this.

First of all it's always worth checking the latch/getting someone trained in bf to check, just ro rule it out. If the latch isn't the issue, changes to the feeding pattern may be a possible cause (do you get very engorged when she feeds less during the night?) Also irratic pumping/expressing often can cause blocked ducts as it can alter you supply levels out of sync with your baby. Switching sides too soon during feeding could also mean the breast isn't getting drained enough (is baby doing plenty of yellow poo's?) External factors can cause them too, such as holding the breast with your hand during feeding, poorly fitting bra's, carrying heavy bags/slings in a way that puts pressure on the breast tissue.

TheBluthCompany Wed 06-Jul-11 08:51:11

I had mastitis 5 times in the first three months. In the end someone suggested that I seemed to have an oversupply issue and block feeding really helped. It still goes up and down but I haven't had masitis since. I also dont wear bras at night or round the house much and make sure nothing ever presses on boob.

TittyBojangles Wed 06-Jul-11 08:54:53

Do you 'hold' your boob when you feed/have a finger or anything pressing it? Is your bra well fitting/non-wired?

Haggisfish Wed 06-Jul-11 09:18:49

I had a similar problem at about a similar stage. it was really annoying, but seemed to resolve itself after about two months. I still can't think of any reason why it happened - I found massaging in a hot bath and block feeding helped to get rid of them. and ibuprofen gel applied directly to boob.

spaceal Wed 06-Jul-11 10:16:09

Thanks, everyone. Some useful stuff here. I think my bras are OK but will wear them less round the house! I do hold my boobs sometimes when feeding as they're quite big and I don't want to squash DD but I'll be more careful with this and see if I can shift positions a bit to help. And I'll pay a bit more attention to latch too. There are plenty of poos and she's gaining weight very well but I might have a go at block feeding - I think I used to do this intuitively when she was feeding more but tend to swap from feed to feed these days.

Definitely a few things to work on...

And hopefully it will just go soon, like Haggis - here's hoping.

1Catherine1 Wed 06-Jul-11 10:31:04

Hey Spaceal, I´m having the same problem with my left boob which is also concerning me as my DD seems to prefer the right boob anyway. I told the GP but she wasn´t concerned as at that point it had gone. I swear it is there 95% of the time though...

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