24 April 2011

ductal hell

Hello! Thank you for the wonderful anniversary wishes. This weekend we actually did go to Maine friday for the day and night for Doug's work and but had a nice dinner for our anniversary. Saturday was cold enough to have been wedding weather!

I am having a seriously un-fun issue: blocked ducts. Please help me.
I have tried steaming, showering, soaking, warming, ibuprofen, massage (GOD AWFUL PAIN), expressing, pumping (even on max, nada), feeding the baby every hour or two, prayer...
I have no fever, no red lines. My breast is not hot, not red. But it has a lemon sized lump on one side (toward armpit) and another keylime sized one toward center.

I have dangle fed that baby, put both of us in insane positions to try to help. There is no obvious anything on the nipple that would indicate a surface obstruction.

So please, please help me.
What now? What next? I will call the doc tomorrow but would love some kind words.
This is seriously painful and frustrating and scary and a bit more than I can handle on top of everything else. This is now the end of day 2.

17 comments:

sprogblogger said...

Oh boy. I haven't dealt with anything that bad - mine have gone away with shower-on-hot + major massage, manual expression in that hot-as-I-could-stand shower.

Hope the doctor can offer some help, as that sounds truly miserable - and, yeah, more than you need on top of everything else you're going through. Thinking of you.

Corinna said...

Just delurking to say that my mother-in-law swears by the "Juice Jar" breast pump technique described on Kellymom.com to cure her own ductal he** when my husband was a baby. I have managed to avoid those problems so far. Knock on wood. We have a little iui miracle around Della's age - he was due 11/12, born 10/20. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story with all of us!

The Zoo said...

Sorry to hear it. I once had one that lasted 2.5 days and I did everything that you did (thankfully, I too didn't have/get mastitis). Just keep massaging if you're not feeding (and/or have the time). Don't press REALLY hard (as you can damage yourself) but you need to press hard enough. I'm sure that it hurts too much to push too hard but just wanted to mention it. Keep applying hot (face) clothes as often as you can. Hopefully there's something that the doctor can do. Please let us know if they prescribe anything to help or come up with the magic cure... Thinking of you.

amazingk8 said...

My best bet is always just to nursenursenursenursenurse. i did find on one occasion that there was actually some white substance(milk fat?) that was blocking the duct at the...boob surface. I had to work it out manually before the duct could be cleared with nursing.
Now what you don't want to do is what I did. i use one of the microwavable heat thingies for your neck (smells like lavendar) to wrap around my boob whenever I get a blocked duct and last time I guess I made it too hot. It barely hurt but I gave myself a deep second degree burn on the inside of my boob. Then the darn thing got infected (red streaks clear across the ol' girl!) and i had to dress it with silver nitrate every day for three weeks and take a long course of antibiotics. And i'm here to tell you that Culturelle for kids will help the baby's digestive system if you take antibiotics. Good times! I hope your's resolves with a lot less drama. :)

Minta said...

Ouch! Sorry to hear of your ductal trouble! Like Sprogblogger, I've been able to clear mine with manually expressing and massaging in a HOT (meaning no cold, all hot, lobster colored mama coming up) shower. Usually there'll be nothing, nothing, nothing, SPRAY! then the rest can be pumped out. Please let us know what the doc says...

JB said...

I've had blocked ducts that resolved, and some that moved on to mastitis (the latter, 3 times). When heat, massage, and pumping/nursing/manual expression did not work, I noticed (after a day or two) a tiny white spot on the nipple - a milk blister. It's milk or fat clogging the duct at the nipple and backing up the duct big time. I had to sort of pick at the blister until it was gone (the more I -- carefully -- picked at it, the more obvious it was to see). Then I could manually express and pump the backed up supply out.

If none of this works within another day or so, you may be facing inevitable mastitis and the best treatment is to keep trying to unclog plus antibiotics. I've had to do this three times and didn't have any ill effects on myself or my son.

Sorry you're dealing with this -- it's a complete drag. I hope it resloves soon.

JB said...

P. S. -- antibiotics and ibuprofen made the pain significantly better within 24 hours.

Joannah said...

Kate, I'm so sorry you are experiencing this! I wish I had some practical advice, but I'm not there yet. What did come to mind is finding a lactation consultant in your area, if that's a possibility. I sure hope you get some relief soon. ((hugs))

Rebecca said...

Oh, clogged ducts are awful. I got through mine by pumping around the clock with hot water beforehand. Also, as a previous poster mentioned, there was a surface clog that I had to clear. I know this sounds gross, but I had hardened milk right at the exit point; it looked like a pimple sort of. I actually pulled it out with a tweezers (maybe 1/4" long). And that was the beginning of the end. I hope you get some relief soon.

Anonymous said...

delurking to say so sorry, and that I had clogged ducts a few times (over the course of nursing twins for a year) and in one instance, it felt like my entire breast had clumped up. I totally freaked out and ran out to the breastfeeding center and bought warming pads. I was at work when it happened once or twice, and warmed the pad, closed my office door and put it on my breast for a few minutes. I also pumped frequently. It resolved within a few hours each time. Don't panic, it'll be okay. The combination of warm shower, massaging with hair brush in shower, warming pads, nursing from above and multiple pumpings usually resolves it quickly.

Anonymous said...

delurking -- i get clogged in my left breast a lot. i sleep with a heating pad, and nurse nurse nurse.
when i had mastitis - my fever didn't show up because of the ibuprofin i was taking to counteract the pain. If you feel at all flu-like, get on antibiotics fast...

Dreams and False Alarms said...

try some cold--you might have so much inflamatino around the duct that no matter what you do ot it, it won't let go.

Eb 40+ said...

holy crap that sounds painful. have you gone to the docs? If al the other things failed maybe you could consider it.

I hope it clears up soon.

irrationalexuberance said...

Yuck -- Ive had a couple and they HURT. I'd second the recommendation to look at the outlet -- you may have a clog or a blister at the nipple end, and so you may need to take a sterile needle to it -- yeah it sounds terrible but it works. And doesn't hurt really at all. Really.

Heidi said...

So sorry to hear about it, and I know how painful it is. I wish I had advice to add to the things you've already attempted, or that have already been recommended. The only thing that worked for me was standing in a hot shower for a long time, then massaging and manually expressing while still under the shower. I remember feeling as if I were both crying in grief at how much milk I was wasting (I had low supply) and crying at the blessed relief. Please keep us posted.

Emily Erin said...

Oh Kate-- I am SO SORRY. I got mastitis as a reaction to stress (this is common, from what I read) and it sucked. I have no magic solution other than to take ibuprofen, rest and nurse until you can't stand it any more. I hope that the doctor has better suggestions. Lots of hugs (side hugs though-- blocked ducts preclude any real hugs)

Celia said...

Hey,

Try using a disposable diaper on your breast with the clogged duct. Run the water as hot as you can stand, and the diaper not only retains heat, but is great at not dripping like a wash cloth.