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Blocked ducts and lumps

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    Gataloca's Avatar
    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    Blocked ducts and lumps

    Recently I got an episode of Mastitis and blocked ducts. Went to a family health care center and the nurse helped me unblocked the ducts by massaging my breast. She told me to keep massaging the breast to get rid of the lumps. I have tried it, but I just cannot get rid of them. I have tried squeezing them as hard as I could while manually expressing the milk, but it is really painful... And even if I could squeeze till the lump get smaller, it would get big again after few hours.

    Do I really have to get rid of all the lumps to definitelly unblock all the ducts? ... What if I can't? What will happen if I get more lumps?
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    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    Hmmm....I've never had mastitis, but did have a more than one blocked duct before. I always got my blocked ducts out by massaging while my baby was sucking. Sometimes it took awhile, but it worked. Have you tried that? Otherwise, I would try going to a lactation consultant - someone who is more experienced than just a nurse at a family health care center? If you need a good recommendation for one whose office is in Wanchai, I can recommend - just PM me.

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    pixelelf is offline Registered User
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    in my earlier days, when i had these as well, i saw the doc to clear the mastitis. i'd faithfully pump every 2 hours and massage while pumping. i pumped and massaged until the lumps felt smaller, but i never squeezed them, that's really too painful. i tried not to feed the affected breast directly to my child, as it really hurt, as most of the time, the mastitis occurred due to a broken nipple (yikes i know)

    drink lots of water and rest when you can. helps alot. it doesnt go away overnight. for me, it takes something like 10-14 days. the last bout of mastitis (a month ago) took 2.5 weeks. really painful.

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    zyxwv is offline Registered User
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    Yes, you need to unblock the ducts -- ie, get the lumps out. Your baby's suction is more effective than a pump or manual expression. I would recommend that you try to massage the lumps while you are breastfeeding. It can be difficult to do yourself, so enlist your husband, healthcenter or a lactation consultant (Yvonne Heavyside at at Family Zone or one of the Annerly ladies will come to the house). And yes, it can be pretty painful. You can also go to a physio and have the blocks treated with an ultrasound (this worked well for a friend of mine but wasn't successful for me).

    I don't mean to alarm you, but the worst case scenario can be pretty bad, so don't let it go. If it develops into mastitis, you will be prescribed antibiotics. Most times, the antibiotics coupled with the various methods of massaging the blockages does the trick.

    If the blockages aren't treated or don't respond to the above treatments, an abscess can develop and this requires requires surgery to remove. The later happened with me and I can tell you that the recovery from the surgery and follow-up treatment of the surgical wound was far more painful than breastfeeding with mastitis (though I wouldn't have believed that if you had told me when it was still just mastitis!!).
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    newmother is offline Registered User
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    Massaging in the hot shower helped me.

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    The nurse at the health care center helped massaging the breast till the duct got unblocked and the lump got smaller (it was really really painful). She told me to keep doing that at home till the lump is gone, but it really didn't work for me. I tried doing hot compression before breastfeeding, massaging in the shower, massaging and squeezing the lump while baby is sucking, and squeezing and manually expressing the lump after the breast is empty. But it is so painful that I think I will need some help. I will probably contact a lactation consultant.

    zyxwv, can you give me mote information abou the ultrasound treatment? Where can it be done? I guess it will be less painful than having the breast massaged...
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    zyxwv is offline Registered User
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    It was less painful than the massaging but isn't something you do instead. Rather, it is in addition the massaging and b-feeding/pumping etc

    I don't have the name of the parctice but it is on Wellington next to Yung, 15th floor. 2530-0073. @1.5 years ago the physios who did it there were Hazel and Debbie
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    Pump, massage, heat, drink lots of water, repeat! That's what works for me. Whenever I get a blocked duct (at least once a week), I pump as much as I can, even if nothing's coming out, massaging at the same time - then shower, pump again, etc until I completely get rid of it. Sometimes I can't get rid of it completely and it builds back up again but if you repeat as soon as it starts building up, you can get rid of it before it gets bad. It's a pain, but it's much better to take the time and effort to deal with it early and prevent it from becoming worse.

    At the moment, I'm ONLY pumping, but with my firstborn, whenever I had a blocked duct, I'd ONLY feed her from that side until it cleared, and just express a bit from the other side (or offer it second) if it was getting engorged too...

    The best way to massage is to rub towards the nipple - I don't squeeze, I just press on it firmly and rub towards the nipple...

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