Constant clogs - need to reduce supply?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2012
Constant clogs - need to reduce supply?
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 5:23pm

Hi everyone!  I've been eping for 4 months now and recently dropped to 4 pumps per day about 3 weeks ago and am still making about 45-48 ozs. a day!  I was hoping dropping from 5-4 would decrease my supply but i think it has actually gone up a few oz instead.  I constantly have issues with clogs (almost everyday) and think reducing my supply would help with this.  I constantly want to quit because I can't handle being in pain anymore! 

Should I try taking some sage?  Or use cabbage leaves?  I've tried pumping less time/amounts but that just leads to more clogs!  I'm afraid to try to drop to 3 pumps for fear of more clogs.  For a while there my milk was super clumpy and I think it was because of all the clogs.  (the clumps had a jello-like consistency to them...anyone else ever experience this??? and this was from freshly expressed milk; not after it has been refrigerated...and it's definitely not fat separation) 

Sometimes the clogs are just minor; I can't feel any bumps in my breasts, but I can't seem to get the milk out. (breasts still feel full after pumping)  And other times I just plugged ducts that are tender and I can definitely feel them and I've used massaging and warm compresses/hot showers to get them out.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  I just don't know what to do so that I can keep eping comfortably!  I really want to make it to a year!  TIA.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2012
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 11:20am

Have you tried taking lecithin?  That can help :smileyhappy:

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2012
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 12:28pm
I forgot to mention that I already take 1200 mg of lecithin 4x a day!...and still getting clogs!
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 6:48pm

Overly thick, clumpy or stringy milk can definately be a sign of unresolved clogs.  A lot of clogs or pain ongoing can also be a sign of low-grade untreated mastitis.  Have you talked to a doc and considered seeing if a course of antibiotics might help you clear something that your body is trying to fight off but not quite able to get the job done?


As far as ways to deal, it sounds like you have some serious oversupply going on.  Bringing your supply down should help resolve the clogs becasue inadequate emtyping can be a cause of those clogs...dropping pumps can be one reason for inadequate emptying.  If you are at 4 mos pp right now, your supply should regulate down within the next 2 months generally but there are steps you can take to bring the oversupply down too.  Sage and cabbage leaves can help with that.  So can cool compresses.


Other things you can do in addition to the lecithin to help resolve the clogs:

  • massage the breast before and during pumping to be sure it is emptying fully and evenly.
  • Take extra iron and b-complex vitamins if you aren't already doing this.
  • make sure you are staying well hydrated
  • reduce your consumption of animal fats and stick with polyunsaturated fats in your diet
  • use a cold co-mpress to reduce swelling and help the surrounding tissue drain more effectively


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2012
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 10:13am
Thanks so much for all the info! I'm going to try some of these tips and hope it resolves! I've been noticing less clogs these past 2 days. I wonder if it's really taken my body close to a month to adjust to dropping to 4 pumps. I'm hoping to drop to 3 pumps by October before I go back to work. I need to make sure I do it slow enough!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2011
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 3:36pm

I had a huge problem with clogs until I tied it to my diet. If I ate any fried foods or sausage I would get a clog with in 24 hours.  One very small french fry was enough to cause major pain.  There were a couple of other foods that could do it, but I don't remember what they were.  You may want to pay attention to what you are eating and see if you can make a connection.  I suffered with clogs for months before I realized what was causing the clogs.  The length of time between pumps or the amount of pumps a day did not seem to cause any of my problems.