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Reoccuring Clogged Milk Ducts & Crying....

by Erica
(Boston)

this is my little Birdie Charlotte, she's a big Bruins fan!

this is my little Birdie Charlotte, she's a big Bruins fan!

I have had the same side clogging off & on for the last 2 wks. Any tips? I've tried the whole gamit; wet compress, heating pad, hot shower, massage, even went out & am now taking lecithin supplements.


I'm about at my wits end. I don't want to stop breast feeding, she's only 4 mos old, but I'm getting desperate...

Also on another note is it possible for my hormones to kick in 4 mos post partem? I kept waiting to get weepy (never happened) & now all of a sudden when she's 4 1/2 mos old I cry at the drop of a hat. I know a lot of it has to do with my lack of sleep, but really...I'm not a crier & this is just getting ridiculous....

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Some Suggestions...
by: Heather

First off, Charlotte's photo made me laugh - she's so cute. Her expression seems mixed between "amused at mommy" and "wondering what-the-heck you're doing". It hints at a very fun personality. ;-)

Okay...blocked ducts. You mentioned a few things you've already tried, so bear with me as I throw out some random thoughts that went through my head.
Things to try
As for solutions...try switching positions, pumping more frequently to get all the milk out, and SLEEPING. ;-) If you can, nap when she naps. Let the house be trashed for a while, you'll survive. Order in, or have a friend bring over something. If she's sleeping, you should be too!!

Sounds weird, but have you tried to place a cabbage leaf on the breast? Freeze or fridge it first and place it on the plugged duct right after feeding/pumping. It's an anti-inflammatory that can help.

Think "warm before, cold after" and try to breastfeed or pump as much as possible, to work out the plug. I've heard of a mom who actually expressed a small dried piece of milk! So it can be worked out.

Also, give yourself a breast massage in a hot shower, trying to gently work out the "knot", rubbing or gently squeezing.

Warning! Possible mastitis!
Watch that breast closely - if it gets red, or feels warm around the duct, or is increasingly sore, call your OBGYN. You want to make sure you're not developing mastitis. (An infection of the breast, requiring a gentle doctor's touch.)

How to NEVER get this again...

If you can work out the plug, here are some thoughts on how to prevent having this problem again.

Is she completely emptying that side? Have you tried pumping after she feeds on that side to make sure the ducts are completely empty?

How's your nursing bra fitting? Does it have an underwire? Those have been linked to duct problems in the past.

Could be postpartum
Okay...hormones. Personally, I think the whole "post partum" name is misleading. It makes you think that it's RIGHT after birth, and if you haven't had it by 3 months you're safe.

Considering that it really takes the body a year to get back to pre-birth state, this is almost right on target.

You'll need to talk to your doctor about this. If it is postpartum depression, medication may be needed. It brings your physical body up to ground zero, so to speak, so then your emotions have a fighting chance at getting leveled out.

When I'm a hormonal mess, I'm a MESS. Weeping over silly commercials, all sentimental over the strangest things...not to mention crabby.

It's beatable. Talk to your doctor, a short-term help can make a big difference in your daily life.

Hope this can be helpful Erica. Hang in there!
Heather

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