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Blocked Duct - Can't Get Milk Out - Help!

(15 Posts)
PrimaBallerina Mon 12-Sep-11 21:02:43

I'm EBFing DS who is 24 weeks. Today my right breast has gone really hard on the inside. The lump is really big and covers an area about the size of a tennis ball.

I've had lumps on the other side a couple of times and managed to sort it by massaging while feeding DS.

This is different in that I can't get any milk out. DS was crying when I tried to feed him as nothing was coming out. I've tried to pump (after hot water bottle + massage) and am getting nothing more than a couple of drops.

Has anyone got any ideas? I'm starting to panic Because I can't fix it sad. I don't want to dry up.

PatsyPlusOne Mon 12-Sep-11 21:18:14

Do you have a temperature / is the lump hot and red as well as inflamed? Because if it is, it may be mastitis rather than just a blocked duct, in which case you may want to see your GP.

Remedies I've heard for blocked ducts include:

Hot shower and massage (similar to what you're doing already)
use a wide toothed comb to comb down towards the nipple
feed DS with his chin aligned with the blocked duct - this may mean lying him on his back and dangling your boob into his mouth from a strange postion
Take paracetamol if it's painful to feed. If you're more relaxed feeding will be easier. It's a while ago for me, but I think ibuprofen's ok too? You may want to check that.

If you're still worried, contact a b/f counsellor or even your HV may be able to give you some good advice.

I'm sure other more knowledgeable MNers will be along soon, but didn't want to leave you hanging.

schmee Mon 12-Sep-11 21:30:22

Ibuprofen is ok according to the breastfeeding counsellor I saw. And will help with any inflamation. I've found all the things above helpful.

Also I know it sounds crazy but really try to relax as stress can stop your let down reflex. I've been getting recurrent mastitis and I've found it really helpful to consciously try to empty my head and think calm, "milky" thoughts to get things flowing again.

PrimaBallerina Mon 12-Sep-11 21:32:44

Thanks. I don't think it's mastitis as I'm feeling well and it's not hot.

banana87 Mon 12-Sep-11 21:36:15

Can you see any white heads on your nipple? If so, pick or squeeze it off and problem solved smile If not, get into a hot bath, boob under water and massage massage massage. You should be able to see hard bits coming out of the nipple which means things are clearing. Hope that makes sense!!

vigglewiggle Mon 12-Sep-11 21:43:29

In addition to ibuprofen the breastfeeding counsellor recommended cooling the breast before feeding/ expressing to help to take the inflammation down. It worked for me.

napa Mon 12-Sep-11 21:45:26

ditto what banana said - i had a blocked duct when ds was 3 months old, and submerging boob in v. hot bath eventually worked (and was the only thing that did), but took more than one attempt - 3 baths in a day!

LeninGrad Mon 12-Sep-11 21:49:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyAsASandboy Mon 12-Sep-11 21:51:19

I second massage in the bath to see if you can clear it, and I've also had one white plug on my nipple, which I sort of 'scraped' with a sterilised needle to release the plug, which allowed me to clear the blocked duct in the bath.

If you can't clear it and your baby isn't feeding from that breast, I think you need to see your GP quickly if you don't want to dry up. I recently saw my GP about a lump that has been there since a blocked duct I struggled to clear (6 months ago blush) and they refered me for a scan very quickly. I would think if you explained about not wanting to dry up, they could get you seen within a day it two, which would surely give you the best chances of continuing to feed.

Good luck!

AngryFeet Mon 12-Sep-11 21:52:29

Comb worked for me. I used a normal one though and pushed hard down as I moved it fro. Outside of breast to nipple. Worked a treat smile

PrimaBallerina Mon 12-Sep-11 23:50:41

Thanks everyone, I'm really grateful for your advice as I'm quite concerned.

I've combed until the skin went red. I'll try hot bath massage tomorrow if there's no improvement and I'll be ringing the BF midwife first thing.

CeeYouNextTuesday Tue 13-Sep-11 00:00:57

Do you have a breast pump? Try expressing yourself, rather than getting baby to suck, so he doesnt get frustrated.

petisa Tue 13-Sep-11 00:01:44

When I had one with a milk blister I rubbed it as hard as I could bear with a towel and it eventually worked. Apparently making hot compresses with hot water and epsom salts works, I think it's on Kellymom.

PrimaBallerina Tue 13-Sep-11 11:39:41

I think it's gone! smile

Had a really good chat with our amazing BF counsellor and shifted DS around a bit whilst feeding him. I felt a sharp pain and thought he'd nipped me but then the milk was spraying out so it might have been the blockage coming out?

Really relieved. Thanks again for all your tips.

LittleChiefRunnyCustard Tue 13-Sep-11 11:42:43

Another tip just in case anyone searches for this thread:

Some olive oil on a cotton-wool pad against the nipple for 20mins or so helps to soften the milk plug so it comes away.

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