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Blocked duct- self help- when to stop

(18 Posts)
Cyee Sun 07-Apr-13 09:19:52

Hello
Quick request for help. Thanks in advance!
On Thursday my left breasts was extremely tender, I winced when baby leaned on it for burping etc. I had a slight temp as well. I did my research and diagnosed blocked duct- worried about mastitis because of temp. So started trying to unblock with everythung except a pump because I was away from home, massaging, heat, wide tooth comb (!), feeding in all positions, boob dunking, rest, drinking lots etc etc. Now home and using pump after feeds to try to relieve it.
Reason for my post is twofold:
- I actually like the self treatment thing, picking spots (sorry!), lancing ingrown (hairs) ... neither bf related, so I could merrily continue and probably do myself an injury
- I want to avoid infection if poss abd take proper advice at the right time. And of course maybe my diagnosis is wrong?

So currently I have a wedge feeling which ends at the nipple. When breast empty it feels tendon like. I haven't had a eureka clearance feeling and I assume the wedge is milk backlog that would go pretty quickly once block gone. I don't have a temp and the tenderness from Thursday is gone. Just a slightly worse than engorgement feeling. It's no problem feeding on than side. Area red and warm but not hot.

Other info, DC3 is 5 weeks. I have a super fast let down abd she deals with this by having a slippy/lip snacks latch. Have tried to remedy but latch itself isnt hurting. It's causing more trouble in terms of her wind. Also been sleeping on left side a lot if I have her in bed with me.

What an essay. Sorry.

So really after some guidance on whether I actually do most likely have a blocked duct, how long I should try to keep trying to shift it myself. When to involve doc. How obvious is it when block clears? Any other help!

Thanks so much!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 07-Apr-13 09:51:28

Sorry, don't know. Have you tried one of the bfing helplines?

Gingersnap88 Sun 07-Apr-13 10:10:22

Definitely sounds like a blocked duct to me, is it tender to touch and lumpy? If its red when you're not trying to clear it (so not just been touched) then I would pop to the GP in case of mastitis.

I am plagued by blocked ducts so feel you pain! I was always getting them on my right side, and then I realised that I was sleeping on that side as was co sleeping with DD. I started sleeping on my back in between feeds and haven't had it since!

Do you have any sort of white spot on your nipple? I get these blebs when very blocked. So painful. Have to pick them in the end and then express to get the last of the milk out.

It sounds like you're using all the self help measures already! All I can say is keep feeding, hot bath / shower and massage, Epsom salt nipple bath and chocolate for your sanity smile

On the fast flow issue, have you tried biological nurturing? Look up on google / you tube. You have the baby upright feeding as you lean back, it slows the milk down and is much kinder on their tummies.

Congratulations btw thanks

Cyee Sun 07-Apr-13 17:16:01

Thanks so much!

Gingersnap88, hopefully this isn't too gruesome a question, but what happens when the block clears. Just been massaging and some thicker creamy looking stuff came out... Good thing? Or maybe sign of infection sad

Thanks again!

RedKites Sun 07-Apr-13 17:57:45

You might find this Kellymom page useful - expressing thickened milk is described as a normal side effect of having a blocked duct.

minipie Sun 07-Apr-13 21:18:24

good thing! you are getting the blockage out.

I am not sure it's possible to go too far with self help for a blocked duct tbh, at least not the massaging etc, so keep going, just be careful about any nipple picking. I am a self maimer too so I know what you mean about liking it!

btw are you sure it is fast flow? my dd had that kind of latch and terrible wind. it didn't hurt until she was about 12 weeks old, then it reaally hurt. I suspected fast flow but actually it turned out she had a posterior tongue tie, got so much better after it was finally diagnosed and snipped.

Gingersnap88 Mon 08-Apr-13 12:00:42

A good thing!

Some people say they get a hard grain of milk out, or that it comes out in thick strings like spaghetti! Sexy eh?

Hopefully it's cleared now, keep it up for a few days smile

Cyee Mon 08-Apr-13 18:29:21

Thanks to you all smile GP gave me antibs today but thinks it's still blocked, and that it isn't worst case mastitis at the mo. Still getting creamy stuff so will relish pummelling and squeezing persevere for now.

Really appreciate you asking the time, thank you thanks

Cyee Mon 08-Apr-13 18:29:45

Taking the time!

SneakyBiscuitEater Mon 08-Apr-13 18:41:37

Wide toothed comb from armpit all the way to the nipple, or a hairbrush will do, I found this much better than squeezing with fingers for me. When the blockage goes you will feel a lovely whoosh and immediate relief.

Another thing you could try is to lie/sit in whatever strange position you need to to get your baby's chin to point at the painful bit, this sounds painful but something to do with the latch and the suckle seemed to clear blockages a treat for me.

I was forever getting blocked ducts on my left boob until I realised it was one particular bra, ironically the only one I had had professionally fitted and spent 30bastarding pounds on and as soon as I binned that bra no more blocked ducts.

If I were you I would try one last ditch attempt at going bra less tonight and latching with chin to pain before taking anti bs as I always wound up getting nipple thrush followed by deep ductal thrush after anti biotics for mastitis.

Good luck OP.

Lilliana Mon 08-Apr-13 18:51:28

If you have a white spot on your nipple prick it with a sterile needle and get lo to feed. Someone on here suggested it and works for me.

whirligiggle Mon 08-Apr-13 18:52:07

Have you tried heat then massage while expressing? I had this when giving up (due to the appearance of 4 teeth) it did help a bit.

Matsikula Mon 08-Apr-13 19:04:07

Also make sure you are drinking lots, and try taking leicetin (sp?). If the milk is thick and fatty, it doesn't help and the leicetin apparently helps break the fat up.. I had similar problems, which recurred unexpectedly when I went away and spent lots of time walking around with the baby on my chest in a sling, and not drinking.

I also had a fast let down and was advised to try block feeding - one side per feed, and that seemed to help calm things down. Good luck!

Cyee Mon 08-Apr-13 19:56:56

I will give anything a go!

Do you wide tooth comb before or during feeding/expressing for best results?

Got a lot more pain this evening sad

Longing for the whoosh!!

Cyee Mon 08-Apr-13 19:57:26

...ant thank you flowers

Cyee Mon 08-Apr-13 20:55:34

...and somehow I missed the wisdom of taking my bra off. Relief!

Lilliana Tue 09-Apr-13 06:59:56

Hope you have cleared it, hate the pain of a blocked duct.

Cyee Tue 09-Apr-13 11:05:13

Thanks Liliana. Not yet...! Plus seem to have another on the same side sad Resigned to anti b now, so will be stocking up on probiotics. Sighhhhhh!

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