Wednesday, January 9, 2008

WFMW: Backwards Oh My Achin' Boob Day

In keeping with my recent new theme, I ask you, oh wise and powerful WFMWers...

How do you fix a plugged duct?

(I'm pretty sure I've wrung all the tips and tricks out of my friends, family, local health food store, and the internet, but you never know when that one random comment is going to be The Thing that fixes it, so I ask. Actually, I beg... But I'm trying to retain a little dignity here (hah!) ).

While you're here, please vote in my Disneyworld poll. ------>

Are you here for WFMW? Check out my other tips:

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Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon!

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27 comments:

Michelle said...

LOL! Achin' boobs are never good. Here's my go. I'm sure you've heard warm compresses, massage, nurse a lot..blah, blah,blah.
Someone once told me that they nursed the baby in the position to where his/her chin is where the plugged duct is. Make sense? So, if the plugged duct is underneath the breast, then the chin should be there too. This may mean you have to lay the baby on the bed and then nurse over top of him/her.
I know...weird. But she swears by it. Hope this helps!

Stretch Mark Mama said...

I use a warm, wet washcloth on the hot spot, and press and massage towards the nip. Plus I would feed my baby on that side only until it cleared up.

Angela said...

I had a friend use cabbage leaves. I just nursed angled toward the duct and massaged it while nursing...as much as it hurt like I wanted to die. the hot shower thing never helped me much because it meant no bra support and that was no good. Warm compress is good too but nurse or pump the heck out of it. You'll have more milk production than needed but it always helped unplug it!

Christine said...

I always battled plugged ducts. Warm, wet washcloths ten minutes before nursing, PLENTY of generous massage ... and I actually read to put the baby's NOSE toward the clogged duct. I did that when it was really bad, for several feedings. That combination always worked for me.

Cabbage leaves really do help to dry up your supply, so use them very cautiously, if at all.

Sharon said...

You answered my question, so here is my go at yours...take it for what it you paid for it because I've only had a plugged duct once (knock on wood!). I read that the angling the chin toward the spot does not work because the ducts are not straight inside the breast. However, I have read (and this is what I used) that laying the baby on the bed and kneeling over them works. My baby was not turning over yet, so I don't know how age impacts this solution. Aside from that I took hot showers and massaged my breast in that area during nursing.

Good luck!

Samantha said...

Point the baby's nose at the plugged duct and let him nurse as long as possible. Using a warm compress and a little massage beforehand is helpful too. Also, it is important to drink lots of water and slow down! Getting some extra sleep if at all possible will help it not come back and/or not turn into infection. A plugged duct is often a sign that you need to take care of yourself.

Hang in there!

JoAnn said...

I got them quite frequently with my first child. Take tylinol to help with pain. Nurse on that side a few times in a row before switching to the other side to realize engorgement and keep up that routine. I nurse with the chin towards the plug even if it means being in a strange position. I also massaged A LOT in the shower and really worked it...almost like trying to push the plug out. I've actually gotten strings out while massaging in the shower! Drink a ton of water. It'll be gone within about 24-36 hours if you work on getting rid of it. To help prevent future plugs make sure you always get as much water as you are suppose to...really...dehydration will cause you to get lots of them.

homebutnotalone said...

You've got loads of advice here and mine would be similar. Hang over the bath and get rid of the extra milk that wants to run free. I would say don't express what the baby isn't taking as then you only make more which you don't need and that adds to the problem.

The only thing I will say is don't let it go too long as I needed two antibiotics to get rid of mine in the end and only that it was over Christmas my Doctor wanted to admit me to hospital to have it drained. I talked her round and the second anti-biotic worked.

Hope you get relief soon!

Mary C said...

Those are the worst!

I echo everyone else's ideas-

-Hot showers with the shower head turned to "massage" and stand there forever working it
-cabbage leaves worked for me, too
-Lots of nursing!

Good luck!

Leia said...

_Please_ be careful with cabbage leaves as they are commonly used to _STOP_ milk supply in moms who don't want to breastfeed, can't for some reason, or no longer need to. Talk to a midwife or holistic medicine doc before trying that.

I somehow managed to avoid a plugged duct with my little man (mastitis was _my_ thing), but I agree with most of the others - heat, analgesics (Motrin/Advil is better for your liver (and baby's) than Tylenol), massage, etc.

I hadn't heard the position the baby thing. That's interesting! I'll have to remember it for future reference!

I hope you find relief!

BJ said...

Fill the tub with the hottest water you can stand, then get on all fours in the tub, and dangle the offending breast in the hot water. Hubby might have to help by massaging it as well. It's not glamorous, but it works. Also, keep baby's chin near the plug. It makes for weird positions, but it's a big help.

Mrs. Troop said...

I always used Advil while nursing and not Tylenol. And turning the baby's nose towards the block seemed to help me, too. Maybe it's just the different position. Also, rubbing the painful area (while cringing) helps. I nursed all of my babies (8 of them) and had this problem a lot and it always got better if I was diligent to fight it. If you DO have fever, red streaks, aches and pains - promise you WILL get on an antibiotic asap. It can get bad!

SAHMmy Says said...

I had this very problem a few weeks ago. It hurt so much I was sure I had mastitis--but no fever so I waited for a few days and it finally cleared. I took ibuprofen (Advil) and massaged the breast whenever I could and when the baby was nursing. Long hot showers also helped relieve some of the pain. I also wore snug tank tops with shelf bras instead of my usual underwire--they compressed the breast somewhat without poking me.

Heather said...

Ditto, ditto, ditto... The warm compresses and massage helped me the most. And advil. And prayer.

Hope it clears up soon!

Anonymous said...

I have never had a clogged duct, so I can't feel your pain. Just once you've tried all the remedies suggested, IF none of them seem to work please go to the doctor. I know of a wonderful woman who had nursed 5 children who thought she had a clogged duct, but it was breast cancer.

Jen said...

I think you should come sit in the hot tub at our house (a balmy 103 degrees) and share a bottle of Zin. That should work to at least forget about it for a while. I'd go straight for the T3 or Vicodin... but I'm not one for sustaining pain just for the heck of it.
Love,
Jen

Emily said...

I did the chin toward the duct thing using the football hold. It worked for me!

Kaci said...

I've only had a plugged duct once, but warm compresses, massage, and I nursed with his nose aimed towards where it was plugged. That worked for me.

Crafty P said...

prayer. lots of it!

I get a plugged duct which turns into mastitis EVERY MONTH! it hits me like a brick wall! ugh. It's awful.

I visit www.kellymom.com, do the massage thing, warm compresses, cabbage leaves (only when i was engorged at the beginning), lots of water, nurse, nurse, nurse like crazy on the plugged side and sometimes I still get a nasty breast infection that only goes away with antibiotics. I am prone to them and at this stage in the game (my twins are almost 10 months) I've figured out they're hormonal.

okay, so I'll pray that yours gets unclogged soon!

Mama Russell said...

Okay, as the mastitis-and-plugged-duct-Queen, on top of all of those GREAT ideas you have gotten here is mine: Nurse on all fours! Seriously. It is weird and uncomfortable and your baby will probably laugh at you. But it does help so very much. Do it for every feeding.

dawn said...

I tended to get clogged ducts a lot when nursing. Here are the things that worked well for me...

Fill a crock pot with water or boil water on the stove and let it get very HOT. Then place baby wash cloths in it to get them wet and hot. Using tongs pull the cloth out and wring out the drips. Then lay it on your breast. It will be very hot, but it will instantly unclog the duct.

Sit in a hot bath with hot wash cloths on your breasts.

Let hot shower water run over your clogs.

I also used cabbage leaves in my bra. They soothed the pain of nursing.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I had three clogged ducts, two of which turned into mastitis, not fun. Something my lactation consultant recommended and which seems to be working is lecithin. Its a supplement you can get at cvs or your local pharmacy. She said to take it three times a day and cut back as needed until you find how much you need. Its an emulsifier and supposedly helps to keep your milk "liquidy" and easier flowing.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I feel your pain! Some things that haven't been mentioned: Keep hydrated. Water, water, water. Also, de-stress and get lots of rest. I give you permission to take a nap! The more hydrated you are and the more rested you are means the shower or bath methods are more likely to work.

Sis Sarah said...

Is it possible that the milk can't get out of the duct, per say. Last baby I would get a plugged nipple pore (dried milk would be stuck) and nothing could get passed it, so I would get a plugged duct. I had to pump because of preemie kids so alternating positions, bla bla did nothing. I got a package of individually wrapped alcohol wipes and a new package of sewing needles. I would then take a needle, use the alcohol wipe on it, and then literally do a little surgery on myself, to poke the silly plug out. Then throw it away (I was a bit paranoid. Once I did, oh the relief of being able to pump 8 oz of milk out of that silly duct.

I had a friend that found her bra's were part of the problem (she had underwire) so she went to a special bra place that sells mostly nursing, maternity bra's to get some that would help.

Also to the gals that keep getting mastitis. My first baby I did 6 times, I had a lactation consultant that was also a peditrician and she had my milk cultured, when we couldn't get the mastitis to stop coming back and it was MRSA and I was hospitlized on IV antibiotics for a week. So if it keeps coming back please get your milk tested.

Aidan's mom said...

I also took lecithin to keep the milk "liquidy" and flowing. I really felt it worked for me. Good luck! Those friggin hurt!!!

Lindsey said...

The best advice I found was to nurse in different positions....like I always nurse in the same way (sitting up holding the baby). Try positions such as lying beside the baby, the football hold, etc. Also showering while massaging helps in between nursing sessions. Good luck!

NeedANap2 said...

I'll have to echo the other comments, nurse toward the chin, massage, massage, and massage. If start to run a fever and feel bad - get an antibiotic (I don't think I even had to see the dr just called).

Try to determine how you got the plugged duct, I got mastitis because I was decreasing nursing due to changing to jar baby food. But I didn't use a good method for decreasing the feedings - just kinda stopped cold turkey (not all nursing) instead of slowly substituting the feeding for jar food and carefully choosing how I changed the feedings (I learned to drop the late day feedings first b/c I'm fullest in the morning). HTH.