Monday, August 6, 2007

Clogged Milk Duct

Today I am celebrating a first of my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter. A clogged milk duct. Hurray. My left breast (the dominant one) is swollen, hard and tender to the touch and there seems to be little to be done to relieve it.

Of course I have consulted Dr. Google where I have learned the following:

1.) Many women search for something on their breasts called "the white dot." They then stick a needle into the white dot at which time milk has been known to shoot across the room. I don't have this "white dot." But even if I did, I am not sure that I would stick a needle into it. That seems like something best left to a doctor.

2.) I should nurse my baby on all fours with her chin pointing towards the clog. Allegedly this will cause the suction to go in the direction of the back-up. I am also not especially fond of this idea because it is practically impossible. I feel like I am trying out for Cirque de Soleil only I suck and have no flexibility.

3.) Some women submerge their breasts in bowls of warm water for hours on end. This sounds ok, but I am not sure where they get the time or what they do as they lean over these bowls. I am way too ADD to just sit there soaking my boobs. Besides, don't their elbows hurt?

4.) Some woman just try to "nurse it out" by nursing on that side frequently. This seems to make the most sense and is what I am trying to do. Except that nursing now feels like it did those first couple excruciating weeks. I have to clench my fists, grit my teeth and try not to scream each time she latches.

I am hoping that a combo of these remedies will keep me from having to visit the Dr, but I am afraid it is infected as I am starting to feel run-down, exhausted and sore. Any and all advice is welcome.


6 comments:

Editorgirl said...

So sorry for your pain! Wish I could offer advice, but alas, until I'm a mother that won't be an option. However, I have to tell you that second photo is absolutely precious!

Stephanie said...

I thought I heard something about warm compresses (akin to the bowls of warm water, yet somehow the compress sounds more do-able). However, as I have yet to encounter this phenomenon myself, please take my advice with a grain of salt.

Kristi said...

Ouch. I know what you're going through. I had mastitis when Isabella was about two months old. It hurt like hell, and I thought I was getting the flu, because not only did my breast hurt, but I was getting the chills, I felt dizzy, etc. I definitely recommend going to the doctor. If it's infected you'll be put on an antibiotic, and you should feel better within a day or so.

Elizabeth said...

Whoa--makes me so glad I didn't have Google when breastfeeding my babies! And lest that make me sound ancient, my "babies" are 10 and 13. Not *that* ancient, though to hear them speak of it....

Anyway, I never heard of that first one. Weird. Having the baby try to suck it out was, I believe, in the edition of Womanly Art of Breastfeeding that I read. But just nursing very frequently on that breast will help a lot. If it just gets worse, see a doctor, but I don't think I ever went to a doc for breastfeeding troubles. Just resting and nursing and drinking a ton of water will usually do the trick.

jen ruddock said...

I know the "popping the white dot" thing sounds scary, but it really does work (from personal experience). It might be very, very tiny (no more than a pin point) -- but once cleared, you should be able to create a constant jet to clear the duct. You can use a clean, sterilized needle -- it's just going into the first layer of skin (don't gouge yourself)! You can always call your doctor or lactation expert for advice on clearing it, if all else fails! Here's a great site for advice - my lactation consultant recommended it -- http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/mastitis.html

PreemieMama said...

After 3 days of feeling the same pain, I'm so glad to come across your post. This may not sound right, but it made my day, I was able to laugh a bit (not at you but the suggestions). I've had clogged ducts with both of my children, but this time I feel it's more than that. I have a 7 month old son, born at 26 weeks and I work full time so breast feeding wasn't too much of an option for me...I do pump though. I started feeling pain which I tried and tried to work out, but now I get to see the doctor tomorrow. I'm tired, havin aches all over, very irritable, and it now hurts to swing my arms to walk. I called for help...do I see my OB or my regular doctor? The answer I got was to leave a message for the health educator. Educator? I need some meds!!! Anyway, to make a long story short(er), thanks for the post...I feel your pain!!!