Tender, puffy lump in areola: Plugged duct?
I have been nursing my baby for 10 weeks. In the last few days I have noticed that my areola has gotten very puffy right around my nipple. The lump is very soft, but it is also extremely sore. While I am nursing the pain goes away, but comes back as soon as we finish. Could this be a plugged duct?Question:
The most likely cause of a tender lump in the breast of a nursing mother, when not accompanied by fever or flu-like symptoms, is a plugged duct.
Plugged ducts seem to be more common in women who have an abundant milk supply. The best treatment is to continue nursing at least every two hours, preferably starting with the affected side. Apply moist heat to the affected area and massage gently while your breast is still warm. Soaking your breast in warm water several times a day (by leaning forward into a basin, or in the tub) is soothing and effective in helping this to resolve. Breastfeeding immediately after the heat and massage routine will help to unplug the affected duct.
Make sure your baby is latched on properly, taking at least one inch of your areola into his mouth. This will help him to "drain" your breast efficiently and will protect your sore nipple. You may be more comfortable going without a bra during this time.
If your lump persists for more than a week following treatment for a plugged duct, or if you develop a fever or flu-like symptoms, or swelling, heat and redness in your breast, it is important for the situation to be evaluated by your physician. Though nursing mom's breasts are lumpier, any mass in your breast that remains constant in size also needs to be assessed by your doctor.Answer: