Anyone had recurring blocked milk ducts?

(16 posts)(9 voices)
  1. Hi all,
    I keep having painful blocked milk ducts on one breast or the other. I try to warm up the breast in the shower and then pump or put the baby on it. Any other ideas?

  2. do you want ideas for what might be causing them/how to avoid?

    see if it happens w/ certain bras, baby bjorn or other carriers, tight clothing. i always get them if i use the bjorn at all. some people get them just by sleeping on one breast; you can try pillows.

    or what to do once you have them?

    in the hot shower, let the water come down over your breasts from your back. lean over, massage from above the plug down toward your nipple, express some milk if you can. when you nurse, try and point the baby's chin toward the blocked part- so, for example, if it's near your armpit, use a football hold. you can try massaging while pumping, too


  3. I had them, but mine turned out to be because of a milk blister. After a couple of times I learned where to look for the blister and how to pick them out. It would clear up right away. A milk blister is a tiny white dot on the breast. It is dried milk in a duct.

    For me, I stopped wearing regular nursing bras and started wearing just the sports bra type and I got them much less frequently.

    Lecithin is also recomended to people that get frequent clogged ducts. You can take them regularly to help prevent them. It helps make the milk easier to get through the duct.


  4. Thank you!
    I do wear a nursing bra, it is rather loose though.
    I will make sure to not fasten it tight!

    The other thing - I carry babies around in a carrier, I think the problems started since I started that practice

    will definitely research lecithin! What do these milk blisters look like?

  5. ettore - To find mine, I kind of had to stretch the nipple a little and look carefully. They are like the size of the head of a pin, so not very big. You might find pictures if you google milk blisters. I think has info on them. Yours may have nothing to do with it, but the first time I got them, I just thought I had regular clogged ducts. Then after I went to the doctor and got medicine for mastitis (because it hadn't resolved after 3-4 days and I had red blotches on the breast) I found the milk blister. I took a long hot bath and tried to work it out. I even used a sterile needle. I did work it out in the bath that day, but what I eventually found out was that it was easiest to just pick it out with my fingernails.

    My LC told me to take one lecithin tablet every hour until the clog resolves. Then you can take several tablets a day to keep them away. They didn't do me any good, because mine weren't regular clogs.


  6. I second the lecithin. I took it almost every day for the first 7 months As soon as I skipped a few days it was back to a clogged duct. I am better as my dd is 9 months now but I still have to watch what bras I wear.

  7. Hi ladies,
    I had the scariest case yesterday - there were several ducts blocked and the breast felt like a rock. Had to give DD formula yesterday while the milk was just sitting there .
    I slept without any bra at all and on my back.
    At night I had DD work on the breast and then had it pumped. In the morning again feeding followed by shower and pumping. Finally it got better! I credit my DD with it! She is a little machine - tiny girl who works hard! Her brother is bigger and likes to sleep at the breast.
    Where do you get Lecithin? Would Walgreens have it and is any brand ok? Or do you look for some special brand? I see it on Amazon but will ask DH to check pharmacy.

  8. Oh I so feel for you! I used to get tons of clogs (used to post about it all the time on here ) when I BFed my girls (twins too)... I think that with twins your body makes more milk in each breast and therefore is more prone to clogging. Try to feed every two hours in the day time.

  9. I found my lecithin at Walgreens. I asked the pharmacist to help me find it (it is over the counter). I had those days where my supply really was affected because of the block. Have you looked to see if you have a milk blister?

  10. Did not find any milk blisters, thank you for support everyone!
    Will get the lecithin from walgreens!
    You know what is annoying - my night milk peoduction went down
    usually I pump 4 oz from each breast between 1-5am, now that I sleep without a bra, I can not get that much. I wonder if all the compression was stimulating milk production ?
    I have a question - when you have a let down from leaning over something, holding a baby or clothes pressing, does it contribute to both clogged ducts and increased milk supply? Seems like I can not get rid of the problem without losing thr benefit!

  11. jenny- sounds like mastitis. i have had it twice but mine came with an infection. it is crucial to nurse like crazy and/or pump, but nursing is better. i learned that the worst thing is to let the milk sit for any length of time. i sleep without a bra or a stretchy one- compression can cause clogs/lumps.

    can't answer your last question- i have never had that happen. probably because i am in a constant state of nursing (4.5mth twins)

  12. rosetta, ialso feedyhem every 3 hours day or night. But DS is a very poor eater - gets tired on the breast and is hungry when he wakes up again in 5 min. Hecan munch with sleep breaks for hours and get just 1.5oz. So I have to pump all the time. Usually I have some pumped in advance but tonight we used up all my measly storage so he was screaming in a boppy while I pumped for him what he could not get himself. I really do not know if he is still sick from all the NICU drugs (he went through a lot) or just lazy. Thr Dr told us to take good care and do not let him cry. So I am torn between letting him go hungry for a few hours in the hope that he would eat well after, or continue pumping for him while he is not working hard enough on the breast.
    He is almost 9 pounds now, not a tiny baby.
    Will see pedi next week and discuss.
    Back to the milk supply - I squized (pumped) more onthe morning. So perhaps I am ok. I just hate to use formula. We had tiny 2oz bottles from the hospital, but are almost out of them. All we found in stores -32oz ones. You can not keep them long after opening, but all we need is 4-8 oz once in a week or two. How to avoid the waste??
    Also looks like tgey discontinued Lipil Nutramigen that we were using

  13. jenny - i had really bad blocks w/my last baby. like 4 in one breast & 3 in the other at the same time. it felt like i had 2 basketballs in there but hurt like he!!. I would take a wet face cloth over the block & tnen put a heating pad over it. I would also massage it during it. I would do it about 5-10 min before i breast fed & this helped the baby get it out. My problem was a lazy drinker & she did not drain me enough. When she got older & a stronger drinker my blocks stopped - about 4 months.

    I have not found the same problem w/the twins this time.

    good luck.

  14. jenny - for formula, you can buy the powder and then you can make up the amount you need. the cans last a month once they are open. or, you can get those "straws" of formula, which make up 4 oz. i always have one or two of those in my diaper bag in case i am out and need to do a feed.

    i don' know how you can manage to pump so much. i have 5 mo twins and one is BF and the other won't latch. originally i was pumping after every feed, but i just couldn't keep it up and deal with the babies, so now i am down to pumping right before bed, once in the night and first thing in the morning. i have to supplement with formula though.

  15. Klondy, great to see you here! Thank you for advise, I also once got about four in one breast - ouch!

    Melissa - I only can pump thanks to my moms help! She is with the babies while I am in the shower dissolving the blocked ducts.
    But I have to say it's faster than BF - takes 15 min to get about 4oz, sometimes more. And another 10 min to feed. My little girl that is a BFer takes an hour! What I do not enjoy is the pain in my nipples from all the pumping. I put a lot of lancinoh cream but it still hurts. Oh, well...

  16. Here is a great tip-- put rice in a sock and heat it in the mocrowave. It makes a nice warm compress and holds the heat. Try Jasmine rice--smells so good.

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