Monday, March 29, 2010

Plugged Ducts and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the most wonderful experience that all Mother feels especially the New Mom. Of the many joys of breastfeeding, plugged ducts are not one of them. I am done nursing with Justine and I am so proud of my little girl because nursing her was never a problem. Unlike with Jake, breastfeeding with him was like putting a fight most of the time. I experienced lots of pain breastfeeding with Jake like sore nipple, engorged breast and plugged ducts. It is very common for breastfeeding mother to have an engorged breast and it would be so painful if baby refuse to nurse. Jake won't drink in a bottle when he was little, he refused and didn't like to nurse also if I had full milk that was why it resulted to plugged ducts. My doctor advised me to forced him to nurse the part that had plugged ducts but I can't really forced Jake even until now we can't force him to do things he doesn't like. Having a plugged ducts is very painful although you won't get fever with it but if you won't do anything it may result to infection. What I did was poke my nipple with needle to get a hole for milk to come out and follow all the tips I am going to share below. Poking it with needle was painful but I was glad it never get infected.

A plugged duct may be small or it may involve a large area of the breast that feels overly full and does not soften with nursing. The skin over the area may be reddened. Occasionally a plug in one of the nipple openings blocks the milk flow and causes a backup of milk in the breast. If the nipple looks normal in color but you can see a white pimple on the face of the nipple, particularly right after the baby comes off the breast, the problem may be a plugged nipple pore. Plugged nipple pores are often associated with stabbing breast pain especially right after nursing. Plugged ducts are most common during the early weeks of nursing, but they can occur at any time during breastfeeding. They occur for variety of reasons. A plugged duct may follow a misses feeding or a long stretch at night without nursing. Overly tight bras, especially under wire types, may obstruct milk flow and lead to plugged ducts. baby carriers with tight straps can also cause this to happen. For unknown reason, plugged ducts seem to be more common during the winter months.

If you experience this kind of condition here is what you can do. Any breast lump that does not get significantly smaller within a week should be examined by doctor.

Treatment Measures for Plugged Ducts

1. Remove your bra if there is any question that it may be too tight or may be pressing into part of your breast.
2. Apply moist heat to the breast for 15 to 20 minutes before nursing.
3. Nurse frequently, at least every two hours. Begin each nursing on the affected breast.
4. Gently massage the breast just behind the sore area while nursing.
5. If you are following the preceding recommendations but notice no change in your breast after a feeding or two, try positioning the baby with his chin close to the plugged duct, if possible, to promote better drainage. If this doesn't work, get into the shower. With your breast well soaped, apply steady but gentle pressure behind the plugged area, pressing toward the nipple.
6. Increase your fluid intake so that you urinate more frequently.
7. When the blockage seems to be in the nipple, look for dried milk secretions or a clogged nipple pore which may resemble a whitehead. If necessary, you can gently remove a visible plug from a nipple opening with a sterile needle. This may cause a little bleeding, but you probably won't feel any pain.
8. Be alert for signs of developing breast infection- fever, chills, and achiness so you can treat it promptly.

These are the tips and information I read and applied when I experienced plugged ducts. Below are more information I found online of how to handle plugged milk ducts.


Sometimes a milk duct leading from the milk-making cells to the nipple gets plugged, resulting in a tender lump beneath the areola. There may also be a wedge-shaped area of redness extending from the lump back towards the wall of the chest. Unlike mastitis, the pain comes and goes with a plugged duct, and unless the duct is infected, you will not feel generally ill. If left untreated, however, a plugged duct may become infected, resulting in mastitis, infection, or a breast abscess.

To unplug the duct and prevent subsequent infection, try these suggestions:

* Continue to breastfeed on the affected side. By any means, get the milk out! This is the golden rule of preventing engorgement, plugged ducts, and mastitis. Use a breast pump or hand expression if baby is unwilling to nurse.

* Breastfeed on the affected side first. Baby's sucking is strongest at the beginning of the feed, so he is more likely to dislodge the plug when he starts on the affected breast.

* Vary the baby's position at the breast, so that all of the milk ducts are drained. Be sure the baby is latched-on well, so that he can nurse efficiently. Try the clutch hold or side-lying position. Before each feeding, massage the affected area by kneading your breast gently from the top of the breast down over the plugged duct toward the nipple.

* Drain the affected breast better by positioning baby so his chin "points" to the area that is sore. For example, if the lump is around 4 o'clock, use the clutch-hold and position baby's chin around this point on the nipple clock. The lower jaw is often most effective at getting milk out of the breast.

* Apply moist heat compresses for a few minutes before feeding or pumping, or soak the affected breast in warm water or in the shower as described under Engorgement

* Rest. Lie down with the baby and nap-nurse.

* If you notice a small, white dot at the end of the milk duct on your nipple, that is the end of a plugged nipple opening. Apply moist heat on this white blister and with a sterile needle gently pop the blister. If this pore stays plugged, it could block milk drainage and lead to a plugged duct and mastitis.

* Try a pressure massage on the area of your breast that is swollen and painful because of a plugged duct. This may help to loosen the plug. With pressure massage, you do not actually move your hand over the skin as you would with a normal massage. You simply press more and more firmly with the heel of your hand to move the plug in the duct down closer to the nipple. Visit the source and read more.

Make breastfeeding a wonderful experience and enjoy the beauty of motherhood.


Jac said...

Nice post sis thank you for sharing and I'm agree that Make breastfeeding a wonderful experience and enjoy the beauty of motherhood.
have a lovely day!

Tetcha said...

This is a very helpful post. Thanks for sharing, Shy!

Chie Wilks said...

oi sis...thanks for sharing this...pohon2x mgamit nku ni nga nglearn nku nga info diri...pohon kong kaluy-an ni lord

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

This is a very informative and educational post. Hands on ang experience mo dito kaya you can speak from experience. Very practical at helpful yung mga suggestions mo, parang regular suggestions from your favorite pedia. Pinahirapan ka pala ni Jake nung baby pa ito. Maliit pa lang ay nagi struggle na kayong dalawa, lol. Sige, thanks for the post. God bless you all always.

momgen said...

maayong adlaw tagbalay....

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