View Full Version : Anyone else get CONSTANT plugged ducts???
08-17-2005, 05:24 PM
My DS is almost 5 months old and since his birth (moreso in the last 2 months) I get CONSTANT plugged ducts. I have had over 35 incidences of plugs and it is really uncomfortable for me, not to mention extremely frustrating for DS as he sucks and sucks and very little comes out! Usually he can unplug me within 24 hours and I have only had it lead to mastitis once, but, UGH!, is it annoying! I take Lecithin daily (1200mg 3 times a day), try warm compresses, soaking in the bath, shower, I don't wear underwire bras or tight clothes, etc. but nothing seems to help. I usually have a new plug about every other day.
Anyone else have plugs with such frequency? Any magic solution I am missing?
Proud mommy to Eric Michael 3-20-05
08-17-2005, 05:26 PM
I was prone to them, but lecithin helped. Make sure your lecithin is the liquid kind. And is it possible that you're not drinking enough water? Water helps. Also, mine were worse when I didn't get enough sleep (LOL - that's an easy trick, I know.)
08-17-2005, 05:30 PM
The liquid kind of lecithin works for you? Hmmm, I have soft-gel capsules. Maybe I should try the liquid form. Did you just take it down straight? Does it taste bad? Not that it matters... I would drink ANYTHING if it would help decrease the problem!
My water intake is good (about 60+ ounces a day) and I am blessed with a 12 hour a night (no waking) sleeper so I do pretty well in the sleep department.
I will look into switching my Lecithin form. Thanks for the tip!!!
08-17-2005, 07:07 PM
Actually, your good sleeper may be part of the problem. If you're not nursing or pumping for twelve hours straight, that might be contributing to your plugs. You might try nursing during the night or at least right before you go to bed to see if that helps at all.
Mom to Abigail Rose
New baby coming in October!
(Holy smokes, it's a boy!!!)
"When you know better, you do better."
Nursed for three years!
08-17-2005, 09:36 PM
I do pump every night at 11pm (DS goes down at 7:30pm) and put that milk in my freezer supply. I only get about 3 oz. then (total) so I wonder if maybe I don't "let down" well to the pump. DS is almost 5 months old, so 3 oz. doesn't seem like much! Maybe that is part of the problem as well...
08-17-2005, 09:41 PM
Sleeping 12 hours at 5 months, wow! Lucky mom getting more rest, but that's probably a big part of the problem. You probably need to pump at least once overnight until the clogged ducts lessen up. Just my 2cents.
08-17-2005, 09:45 PM
I got them a lot. I had oversupply problems w/ my right breast, but interestingly, it was my left one that got the clogs.
Do you change your nursing position every time you nurse? This is really important in clearing out all your ducts.
I never wore bras at home the whole time I was nursing and I slept on my back a lot on a big towel (I leaked constantly too). If there was any compression on my breasts for any period of time (like from sleeping on my side), I would get a clog.
Unfortunately, I didn't know about lecithin at the time so that might have helped me.
I hope you figure something out. After I had mastitis, I always got a bit frantic when I felt a clogged duct. Good luck.
08-17-2005, 09:52 PM
I don't have any suggestions beyond what PPs have mentioned, so I'll just offer my sympathy! It sounds like you're doing everything right -- some of us are just unlucky in this regard! Eventually my problems went away (was it around 5 months? Maybe...) and now I even wear underwire bras without any adverse affects.
Oh, maybe I do have something to add. You mentioned warm compresses, but have you tried massage? It was this page on the Dr. Sears site that explained it in a way that was finally helpful to me (see the 3rd and 8th bulleted paragraphs):
I hope things will get better for you soon!
08-18-2005, 01:13 PM
Have you seen anyone about this? If not, it's definitely worth it to see a good LC.
FWIW, I was tought to have the baby nurse with his jaw pointing in the direction of plugged duct. Wherever his jaw is is the area that gets worked the most.
Good luck with this. Kudos to you for lasting so long through such adversity! You are doing a great thing for your baby.
08-18-2005, 08:08 PM
I did for a few months and it was miserable! I tried everything that you are doing, plus I slept on my back and nursed DD is every position imaginable. When DD was about 4 months old, I just stopped getting them. Sorry I have no great advice, just lots of sympathy. Hang in there!
Mommy to Annabelle 9/03 & a little pumpkin due 10/05
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."
08-18-2005, 08:29 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I have constant contact with a great LC (I work in an NICU so I have been tapping into my "free resources!"). I will try to remember to vary DS's position while we nurse (I have heard to do this but haven't been too diligent about it). Sometimes, when I am all clogged up and DS and I are both miserable, I am tempted by the allure of pouring powder and water into a bottle and not having to deal with all this but in my quiet moments with just DS and I while I nurse, I am reassured I am doing the right thing and wouldn't give up our nursing relationship for the world.
Thanks for all the sympathy and encouragement. It keeps me going!
08-19-2005, 08:22 AM
I tried the lecithin, it didn't work for squat. I drink a TON of water everyday, over 100 oz. I was constantly getting plugged ducts.
My ducts would hurt so bad that I couldn't pick up my ds without crying. literally tears streaming down my face.
My ds is a poor nurser (we've been through the lactation consultant thing, he's getting better but now he's in day care so he takes a bottle all day long) so I've mostly always pumped. The ONLY thing that has worked for me is that I pump every 3-5 hours NO MATTER WHAT. Even at night, i have to set an alarm and get up to pump. I've been doing this for 2 1/2 weeks and have only had one plugged duct. I used to have one at least every other day. I had one time where I had 4 at once!
I also put the warm compress on my breast while I"m pumping, which helps to clear it out with that pumping session.
08-19-2005, 03:30 PM
Yikesaroo! 35 in 5 months? I thought I had a lot over the 11 months I breastfed (I'd get one every week or couple of weeks). I drank over 100 oz. of water per day. DD didn't sleep that long at 5 months, so as pp's have said, that might be contributing to the problem, although I'd think your body might have gotten used to that by now. I became an expert at getting myself unclogged though - DD was never as good as I was with my medela on high and a sterile needle. The first time I got clogged - around 4 or 5 weeks - I went to a lactation consultant. I was clogged for FOUR days! Thankfully, it never turned into mastitis, but man was I in pain. The LC squeezed the heck out of me - hurt worse than the natural birth, I swear. Anyway, she said that if you could see the clog (the white dot on your nipple), you could try and get it out w/ a sterile needle. The idea is not to touch the nipple at all, but only the clog. So, whenever I had a clog, I'd use a hot washcloth and massage, then I'd pump until I could see the clog; then I'd tease it out a little with a needle, which would loosen the clog enough for the pump on HIGH to get it out. Worked every time. Good luck....
08-19-2005, 05:45 PM
I have used the needle technique a few times when I have seen the clog collect into a white blister on my nipple. Usually the clogs are so deep in there, I can't seem to work them up with massage/pressure. I use an Ameda PY and the highest setting never pulls out the clogs. Oh, I so wish there was an easy solution. I will try massaging more to work them to the surface. Thanks for the tips, ladies!
(now clog-free for almost 48 hrs- almost a record for me!!!!)
Mommy to Eric Michael 3-20-05
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