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The agony! Is this a blocked duct and what do I do?

(23 Posts)
PersisFord Sun 13-Dec-15 19:28:11

Oh please help!

I am BF my 6 month old. He has been fussy and miserable for about a week and off his milk. I have also started feeding him lying down in bed to maximise my sleep. I woke up this morning with a painful right breast, i can feel a big lump in it and it even looks misshapen. I have been feedin from that side all day but it's still really sore. I had mastitis when baby was tiny and it was very red and I had a temperature - I don't feel great but no temperature this time.

What do I do? Should I pump and try and ease it? I tried hand expressing in the shower but a) it was agony and b) it didn't work. Do I need to see the GP?

Please help. I feel sick with the pain I am a total wuss so this doesn't mean the pain is all that bad!

AIN Sun 13-Dec-15 19:36:28

Is there an actual lump (ie possible abcess) or is it an area of swelling (when the milk is lodged)? If you think there's an abcess then you need to see as GP ASAP. If just from milk then try and feed off that side as much as you can. Try different positions to see if the duct will unblock.

eurochick Sun 13-Dec-15 19:41:26

Have a warm bath or shower and massage it as hard as you can. Comb the area (really!) towards the nipple. Feed with the baby's chin towards the lump if poss.

It's horrible. I hope it eases soon.

Haggisfish Sun 13-Dec-15 19:43:49

Yes, I used to feed with baby lying on bed and me dangling boob over mouth and massaging lump while feeding. Ibuprofen gel on boob as well to lessen swelling.

PersisFord Sun 13-Dec-15 19:52:11

I don't think it's an abscess, but it has got much bigger over the course of the day. Will try some different positions. Thank you!!

PersisFord Sun 13-Dec-15 19:55:01

Ooh sorry, missed those last 2 posts!! Like a cow, haggis or have I got the wrong end of the stick?!? And combing with a comb?!?!

He is asleep after pretty much refusing to feed that side - will pumping help or make it worse? I loathe my pump but I do have one!!

NannyOggsHedgehogs Sun 13-Dec-15 20:09:17

Apparently an electric toothbrush works, I've had mastitis this week. Unfortunately I don't own an electric toothbrush so haven't tested the advice personally!

Bounced Sun 13-Dec-15 20:15:41

Kellymom is the oracle for breastfeeding, I'd follow the advice here:

Hand expressing plus massaging the lump during and after the feed plus lots of painkillers is what worked for me.

Onsera3 Sun 13-Dec-15 20:22:22

I had plenty with my son and I found the remedy depended on the cause.

If it was blocked due to a missed feed, the block was at the nipple. There would be a bleb- a bright white dot that you scrape off and the milk pretty much comes out by itself. If you can't see one try leaning over a bowl of warm water with boob in and the combo of pressure from gravity and water will reveal it.

If the block was from pressure- such a lying on my tummy or too long on one side it was a bit longer to clear. Wet heat and massage. Imagine the milk has turned to butter and you need to melt it and move it down through the duct. Try expressing.

But do take some nurofen because the swelling of surrounding tissue will make it harder to clear.

PersisFord Sun 13-Dec-15 20:22:57

Excellent advice! I have a hot wet nappy on there, am going to try and pump in a bit then will buy a comb tomorrow and some ibuprofen gel. Might do a dream feed to see if I can get anything else out.
REALLY don't want mastitis again, am way too busy for all that!!!!

Thank you all so much flowers cake chocolate star

Haggisfish Sun 13-Dec-15 20:28:53

I actually found pumping made mine worse-I force fed dc lots instead.

CointreauVersial Sun 13-Dec-15 20:34:25

I found massaging it while leaning forward really helped. And LOTS of feeding, while massaging at the same time. Bloody painful, though.

PersisFord Sun 13-Dec-15 22:45:02

grin I have had ibuprofen, hot compresses, an abortive attempt at pumping....and finall got the baby up and bunged him on....and the lump has gone down a lot and I am MUCH more comfy. Incredible relief!!

How do I stop this happening again?? Baby is a feeding fusspot and has never really liked this side, and will usually only have one side per feed. If I try and feed when he isn't in the mood he bites fangry. I have been feeling a bit uncomfy and engorged for about a month (poorly toddler and I think all the unaccustomed cuddles sent my hormones a bit haywire). We have just started babyled weaning so he isn't getting loads in but maybe that's not helping. I have been reluctant to pump to relieve it as I had a massive problem with oversupply when he was born and am still going through 2 or 3 breast pads a day, 6 months in.

Any thoughts would be very very very welcome. And thanks again for the amazing help and support santa

Bugaboom Sun 13-Dec-15 22:57:52

I'm really prone to blocked ducts and found that soya lethicin helped (see kellymom) but it may have just been coincidence that it settled at that time. Otherwise I just make sure I spot the signs early and all the self help stuff mentioned in this thread. It's grim, you have my sympathies

Haggisfish Sun 13-Dec-15 23:11:16

I got loads when we started weaning as well. I tried to vary feeding positions with every feed and pumped a little on the other side while feeding-just enough to drain the excess, usually the really thin liquid that came off first. I also tried to cut down on the small snacking feed dd would have which were enough to stimulate more milk but then she'd get bored and stop feeding! I noticed I had a spot that got them a lot so tried to keep an eye on it and give it a goid massage in a hot bath as well.

Bounced Mon 14-Dec-15 09:59:57

I used block feeding to manage over-supply and that helped a lot. Had to go up to about five hours per side to make it work, but once I'd done that it was never so bad again, and I didn't have to stay on that regime for more than about a week.

Onsera3 Mon 14-Dec-15 17:37:15

I use block feeding and the soy lecithin really seemed to help. I did still get some blocks but they were much easier to clear. Don't sleep on tummy and avoid sleeping too long on one side.

PersisFord Mon 14-Dec-15 23:33:01

Thank you all so much! I've been feeding like mad today and it is more comfortable. Tell me about soy lecithin - can I get it from Holland and Barrett?

haggis that is exactly my problem - how did you stop the snacks? Just stretch longer between feeds?

The block feeding sounds so drastic - I keep hoping it will just sort itself out. But I guess it might come to that. sad. Am really desperate for this one to feed a bit longer, last one self weaned at 11 months and I was not ready....hope this doesn't affect things!

Haggisfish Tue 15-Dec-15 00:12:59

I had to try and go out to distract dd. so I would do morning feeds and breakfast and go for walk for hour or so. Try to stretch it out to two hours before feed. Lunch, feed. Out or activity in afternoon for another two hours or so. Was knavkering! Dd fed lots until 18 months, even managing when I went back to work at six months and fed morning and night until she was 3.5 yo!!

PersisFord Tue 15-Dec-15 07:49:49

Oh how lovely!! 3.5 is brilliant!!

He's had a horrible night, teething I think, and has fed loads and loads so I feel great!! When he is better I'll try and get him to go longer between feeds and see if it helps. And hopefully it won't put him off!!


Bounced Tue 15-Dec-15 12:06:03

Block feeding isn't tricky - a bit uncomfortable as you don't feed from one side for a few hours, but then the relief when you do! Have a read on kellymom about how to do it (work up the timing gradually to avoid blocked ducts etc) and maybe consider it if you still have over-supply problems in a few weeks.

The baby fusses a bit at first when you offer a really full breast, ime, as it's a bit like trying to drink from a hose pipe! But they just unlatch and try again when the letdown has finished, which is messy but not a major problem. And after a few days your breasts adjust and the problem goes away.

PersisFord Tue 15-Dec-15 21:02:04

Thanks bounced. I know I should have prob done something ages ago but I remember the agony of the growth spurts with my first and (touch wood) there has been none of that this time....and I attributed it to having a good supply and the leaking and the fullness as a necessary side effect. Is it normal to still leak and still have a painful let down at 6 months though? Am sure I didn't last time. And it is worse if my toddler sets it off, really gushes out!

Haggisfish Tue 15-Dec-15 21:05:28

It may just be boobs adjusting if dc is drinking less while weaning,

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