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Plugged ducts are one of the problems that many breastfeeding moms have experience. It can occur so frequently. For you to know if you have a clogged duct it feels small slightly painful lump you can feel in your breast. It does not usually come with a fever. However, if you do have a fever, it probably a breast infection.
A plugged duct is a breast drainage issue. What happens is pressure from milk builds up and the nearby tissues get inflamed. Often it only occurs in one breast at a time. Never both. Properly emptying the breast is so important to prevent this issue. Ensure after breastfeeding or pumping, you ensure that your beasts are empty. You can do this by manually expressing milk out of your breast after feeding or pumping.
What Are Your Risk Factors?
Some persons are more prone to clogged ducts than others. Here we go with the risk factors:
- history of mastitis while nursing
- cracked skin on the nipples
- inadequate diet
- stress and fatigue
A plugged duct happens when a milk duct does not drain properly. Pressure then builds up behind the plug, and surrounding tissue gets inflamed. A plugged duct usually happens in only one breast at a time. You just might be able to unclog this duct. right at home. Something has to be done to prevent escalating and becoming a breast infection like mastitis. Now mama, we want to make sure that this is actually a clogged duct. Here are some signs and symptoms:
- a lump in one area of your breast
- engorgement around the lump
- pain or swelling near the lump
- pain that subsides after feeding/pumping
- discomfort during letdown
- milk plug/blister (bleb) at the opening of your nipple
- movement of the lump over time
- Your milk supply may decrease and you may see your milk getting thicker.
What you can do?
- Breastfeed on the side with a plugged duct as often as every two hours. This will help loosen the plug and keep your milk moving freely.
- Aim your baby’s chin at the plug. This will focus his or her suck on the duct that is affected.
- Massage the area, starting behind the sore spot. Move your fingers in a circular motion and massage toward the nipple. Use a warm compress on the sore area.
- Continue breastfeeding. The idea is to continue draining the breast frequently.
- Start feeds with the affected breast to ensure it gets the most attention. Babies tend to suck the hardest on the first breast they’re offered (because they’re hungrier).
- Consider soaking your breast in a bowl of warm water and then massaging the clog.
- Change your breastfeeding positions to encourage your baby’s suction to adequately reach the clog.
- Rely on others to help you get extra sleep, or relax with your feet up to help speed healing. Often a plugged duct is a sign that you are doing too much.
- Try as much as possible to avoid getting sore nipples by getting a good latch while breastfeeding your baby. Poor latching can cause clogged up your ducts.
- Wear a well-fitting, supportive bra that is not too tight, since a tight bra can constrict milk ducts. Consider trying a bra without an underwire.
- If you have plugged ducts that keep coming back, get help from a lactation consultant.
- asking your doctor about lecithin supplements (some women say they help with recurring issues)
If you develop a fever with this plugged duct, you probably have developed mastitis. If you develop mastitis you may need to see a doctor for antibiotics.
- Medications may be given for a 10-day period. Please take all of your medication, because mastitis can reoccur, it is important that you take the medication until all is completed. See your doctor if symptoms recur.
- There are some pain medications that your doctor may prescribe i.e. Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil /Motrin.
Cracked nipples and milk duct openings may provide an easy entryway for bacteria from your skin or baby’s mouth to enter your breast, leading to mastitis. So, be sure to keep your breasts clean and dry, and try using something like lanolin cream to protect cracked nipples.
And while it may seem impossible — especially if you have a newborn — take care of yourself as much as possible.
Ask for help if you need it and get adequate sleep and rest.
It was a pleasure to give you helpful information to help you navigate through the challenge of having a plugged duct mastitis . Please feel free to comment or ask any questions below. Thanks for stopping by and visit again🥰
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