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blocked duct/mastitis - advice please!

(14 Posts)
drivingmisscrazy Sat 27-Jun-09 09:13:12

wondering if anyone out there has any magic tricks for unblocking a blocked duct. My dp has been very prone to these, but in the past they have usually resolved in 48 hours or so. This time the duct has been blocked since Monday - she has antibiotics, but the breast is still painful and lumpy and DD (5 months) is unable to feed from it, so we are having to supplement as she only has one breast to feed from, although dp tries to get her to nurse from the afflicted breast as well

She has tried hot compresses, expressing, letting DD feed, but there is clearly old milk backed up in there and DD isn't keen on it/it's far too difficult to get it out. I'm a bit worried that (1) she will end up with full blown mastitis and (2) that DD is going to be hungry.

Any ideas gratefully received

Sassyfrassy Sat 27-Jun-09 09:19:10

My commiserations on the blocked duct. I know how painful it is.

When dd feeds, try having her chin / nose pointing towards the blockage. THis way she'll drain it better. Perhaps using a hotcompress at the same time as well.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 27-Jun-09 09:19:18

Have you tried cabbage leaves in the bra? Dark green is best but any will do, just put a whole leaf in there. The best thing I found was a combination of cabbage leaves and going in a quite hot back and submerging my boobs and expressing under water.

Once she has got some out she needs to put DD back on it - once a little is released she will be happy to suckle. I know it hurts but it will hurt a lot less once the milk is released

The other boob will be supplying enough btw and will have upped supply so supplementation may not be necessary.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 27-Jun-09 09:19:58

Or try the rugby/underarm hold - it may hurt for a few seconds but it's the fastest way to drain the breast.

ilovemydogandmrobama Sat 27-Jun-09 09:21:02

hot muslim cloths and massage seemed to help me.

ilovemydogandmrobama Sat 27-Jun-09 09:22:03

muslin blush

WMMC -- is rugby hold the same as the football hold? smile

BoffinMum Sat 27-Jun-09 09:27:07

This is my little duct unblocking ritual:

1. Have a warm bath and a nice cup of breastfeeding tea.
2. Get out of bath and fingertip massage breast with oil, especially around the offending area. Avoid nipples.
3. Lie baby on changing mat and then flop breast into baby's mouth, and get baby to drain breast while I do more massaging assertively around blocked area. Painful but strangely satisfying.
4. Repeat 2-3 times a day until it works.

TheProvincialLady Sat 27-Jun-09 09:32:54

muslim cloths ilovemydog?!

I always find that taking nurofen before trying the massage etc helps, presumably because it is anti inflammatory. I usually have a nice hot bath and a good (painful!) vigourous massage and use a wide toothed comb. And an expressing machine on the highest setting that doesn't rip my nips off.

I hope your DP clears the blockage soon, they can be really painful I know. Has she talked to a BF counsellor about why she keeps getting them? It can be a sign that attachment needs tweaking.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 27-Jun-09 09:45:37

Ilovemydogandobama - yes the rugby hold is the same as the football hold, but it's for people whose DH's have funny shaped balls wink

ilovemydogandmrobama Sat 27-Jun-09 09:50:42


Schnullerbacke Sat 27-Jun-09 21:45:56

I found that massage never worked when I had a blocked duct, or at least it didn't seem to make a difference. What did work though was expressing with a pump. I'd spend a good day just expressing, maybe 10 mins at a time would fill the bottle (which I then put in the freezer), an hour or so later I would do that again. I guess it took 1-2 days to be resolved and was fine after that.

Hope it passes quickly.

Juwesm Sat 27-Jun-09 22:12:47

I second some ibuprofen, taken regularly to try and keep the swelling down. This may help all the other methods to be effective.

NCT helpline suggested to me to alternate cold compress to reduce swelling and pain, and hot compress to help soften any milk blister etc. So 15-20 mins cold, followed by 15-20 mins hot before a feed/ expressing.

Other breast should hopefully ramp up its supply quite quickly to compensate. My last blocked duct last week appeared to unblock itself spontaneously after flopping round the house bra-less all day. Think it was just the pressure of breast full of milk!

Have you looked at If there is a milk blister, you could try popping it with a sterile needle, but this is risky business and probably better performed by a HCP!!

K8Cocker Sat 27-Jun-09 23:13:09

Hi there
I had quite bad mastitis twice in the first 6 weeks of breast feeding. It's SO annoying and it feels like everyone gives the same advice of "feed through it" but for me that never cured it!

My advice is (and I would try all of this):
1) Empty the breast if you can - use breast pump if needed although you run the risk of refilling
2) Feed through it - but I found this advice to not be a means of recovery
3) (This was the best most unique advice I got) Get a bowl of water as hot as you can stand it and dangle your boob in it then massage all round the boob systematically towards the breast. You can get away with being quite firm but don't over do it. The gravity, heat and massage should do the trick.
4) You can take both Ibuprofen and Paracetemol
5) Get antibiotics if it is getting bad - beware that they can have funny side affects for both you and baby but nothing terrible.
6) Remember you're boob won't fall off - it's like an ear infection - it will go away if you get the right treatment. I thought I'd rotted my breast or something and it upset me so much. Then my mum put it in perspective which helped the emotional side of things alot.

Hope that that helps
K8 xx :O)

K8Cocker Sat 27-Jun-09 23:15:04

I obviously got over excited here - when I say "refilling" I mean that you might encourage your breast to re engorge itself! and when I say massage towards the breast - I meant nipple! xxx

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