Blocked Duct HELP!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2012
Blocked Duct HELP!!
4
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 11:29pm

I'm a FTM w/ a 36 week preemie who is now 4 weeks old.  His tiny mouth was too small to latch on to  my XL Nipples.  Been bottle feeding breast milk and have been doing great with supply up until this passed week.  I had a stash of about 8 extra bottles, then i got blocked milk ducts on both breasts this passed Sunday.  They cleared up within 24 hours but then my milk supply diminished and have been producing almost 1/2 of what I was.  I had been using a PIS, but decided to re-rent a hospital grade Ameda Elite.  My supply started going back up again, and now I have another blocked milk duct.  It is hard enough trying to keep up with a newborn and pumping, never mind the blocked ducts.  I want to keep trying to get my LO on my breast to feed, but I am losing faith that it will ever happen and am considering throwing in the towel.  I so badly want to be able to breast feed and hate the idea of giving up and going to formula.  Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this?  I feel so isolated and alone...and very discouraged.  Cry

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-28-2004
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 3:26pm
I'm right there with you, sister! I am 10 weeks into eping. Those fist few weeks are incredibly hard. Lots of tears for me. I Frequently get plugged ducts and I have had mastitis twice early on. I have to say when I do get plugged ducts these days they are much easier to work out- I don't know if I have developed my skills at unplugging ducts or if my body just works through it faster. Here is what works of me- massaging the breast tissue and finding the lumps, pressing into them with the fingers pretty hard and just holding the pressure. Heating pad on the breasts before pumping. Also hot showers, but that doesn't seem to work as well. Advil seems to reduce the inflammation, helping me unplug. What hasn't worked for me is the lechtin. Some people says it helps but I didn't notice a difference. There is no harm in trying though. As for supply, I use fenugreek 2 pills 4x a day and I think it helps. And most important- skin to skin contact with the baby- both of you strip down to the waist and just cuddle. Also- don't stress, it is so hard to do but we can drive ourselves crazy counting ounces. When I start to stress, I can see my production drop. I think your supply naturally ebbs and flows, it's not constant. Just know you are doing everything you can to give the best for your little one and if it's not in the cards for you, it's not for lack of trying. Best of luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-28-2004
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 3:32pm
I forgot. You also want to stay on a strict pumping schedule and pump longer and more often when you have a plug. I pump 7x in 24 hours for 30 minutes each. When I have a plugged duct I'll add in a 20 minute session here and there.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2012
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 9:25pm

I am sorry I can’t offer you advice on clogged ducts however; I know exactly how you feel. I was so incredibly torn when my baby had latching trouble and I decided to e-pump. I cried all day everyday for two weeks. I am 7 weeks in. It isn’t always perfect, but it’s easier. I still have days where I am ready to throw in the towel! I had supply issues in the beginning for the first three-four weeks he got a few formula bottles a day. I just took the approach that some breast milk was better than none.

Have you sought the help of a LC for the latch? My son was born at 38 weeks. The LC told me to give him time since he was early. We took him to a chiropractor to help him widen his jaw and had his fremulims clipped since he was also tongue-tied. This past week he started latching to me for the first time (7 weeks old). His latch is very painful (although I’m sure with practice it would improve) and was affecting my pumping. Since I have to return to work soon I decided just to continue e-pumping. Long story short, don’t give up on the latch. I never would have thought after 7 weeks of bottle nipples and pacifiers that he would take to my breast. 

Even if he never latches take the pumping one day at a time. Don’t set yourself long-term goals this early. This site is full of support!!!What ever you decide, don't look back! You know you know what's best for you and your new baby, and that's a happy mom! You are not alone! :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2011
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 11:14am

Oh this sounds so familiar.  I had a horrible round of blocked ducts until I figured out it was my diet that was causing the problem.  I could not eat anything fried or pork.  It took me weeks/months to figure out what my problem foods were.  Once I cut those out of my diet, I didn't really have any problems.

I also found that ibuprofen worked wonders in getting rid of a block.  I would take 800 mg when I felt a block starting (same dose I was prescribed for my C-section). By the next day it was gone. 

Hope this helps!

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