Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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171768 tn?1324233699

clogged milk duct/ breast infection

i suspect i have a breast infection. of course, being sunday, i can't make it to a doctor until tomorrow. yesterday my left breast started to get really sore. i massaged it, but had little relief. last night when i went to be i had chills, but figured it was just from being over-tired. this AM the pain was worse. i took a hot shower and massaged, and did get more of a let-down and it became softer, but the area was still sore. also, for the past 2 days, that breast has been producing less milk than the other. i hopped online and looked up clogged milk ducts. every site advised taking it easy and spending the day in bed. not very easy when you're home alone all day with an infant!! anyways, i started to feel worse, and took my temp. it's 100.7. every website says to see a dr if it's over 101. also, i generally feel like cr@p. i have been trying to pump more often, but it's difficult because the baby always seems to need something when it's time to pump.
does anyone have any advice on getting some relief? i assume i should see a dr for antibiotics tomorrow, right? when advising, please take into consideration that i am pumping, not nursing. most websites i found offered advice on different ways to position the baby on the breast. we have been practicing nursing, but i suspect that partly contributed to me getting this infection. trying to coordinate my pumping schedule and her feeding schedules to allow time to try nursing is quite stressful on the days dh works. we try nursing first. she's slowly starting to get the hang of it. by the time she finishes the bottle (which she definitely still needs) and i pump, she is almost ready to feed again, but i dont have much to offer her for nursing because i just finished pumping! arrrgh. at least dh is off tomorrow, but honestly i feel too sick to try to deal with the stress of trying to nurse.
11 Responses
134578 tn?1546634665
The only thing that got me through clogged milk ducts was pumping.  I think that and soaking in hot water (I got in a bath and knelt, which face-down posture seemed to help) were the key.  You may be closer to relief than you think if you have been pumping a lot.
212350 tn?1376431715
this infection is horrible horrible horrible  it is like the flu but worse   bur what i found works is to put warm wet cabbage leaves on the top or a warm face towel this really eases and helps the milk to flow    get well soon
158812 tn?1189759426
I suggest the antibiotics.  BUT, until then, I would take a very hot shower, and immediately feed or pump when you get out.  This will relieve a clogged duct....I have had several of them before.  As for a possible infection, you will need antibiotics to clear it up.  Call your dr. tomorrow if the above doesn't work.  I had strong suckers, and after a hot shower, and hungry baby, I could pretty much feel it being drawn out. The fever, and/or chills makes me believe you could have an infection.
173939 tn?1333221450
The only time in my whole life I ever took antibiotics was for mastitis. I had the same symptoms you are describing with high fever but also a reddish streak along the clogged milk duct ending in a lump. It was mainly the streak that caused the doctor to talk me out of natural remedies including hot showers and cabbage leaves. She said it had to be treated right away because the risk of it turning into an abcess was too high. Not sure if you see anything reddish but I understood back then you should always see a doctor within about 24 hrs. Well, it is almost Monday - so you will get some relief soon I hope. I too remember sitting on the edge of the bed freezing in mid summer nursing the baby every two hours with chills getting worse and no chance to get any rest.
238474 tn?1192417309
I never had a problem, but my SIL got mastitis with her second.  Really painful, and you feel like you have the flu.  Call your doctor - get the antibiotic (it's OK for the baby) and nip this before it gets worse.  Then, try like heck to prevent it from happening again.
93532 tn?1349374050
I am actually on antibiotics right now for mastitis. Not a fun thing when you only have one breast to nurse from anyway!! The pain is incredible and I have found that motrin alternating with tylenol helps a little bit. The advice for soaking in a hot tub is great advice. I did that last night and every night I have been dealing with this and it helps a bit.

Definitely get in and get an antibiotic tomorrow. I was able to simply call my consulting nurse service last week and have one ordered and mailed to me. Kept me from having to load all three boys up, drive an hour each way, just to be told what I already knew ; )

It never fails, once those upper lateral incisors come in, I get nipped and get mastitis! Happened with all three boys ; )
171768 tn?1324233699
thank you all for your advice. i got desperate before reading all of your responses so i took a percocet left over from my c-section. so right now i feel pretty darn good. at my last pumping session i took another scalding shower before hand (3rd one today- my poor skin is drying out) and turned the pump on stronger than ever (not very comfy on the nipples). i massaged and even used a hand-held vibrating back massager on the breast. i've been pumping every 2-3 hrs, and each time i pump for up to 30 min to make sure i'm completely draining the breast. the breast feels much better, but like i said, i don't know if it's from my efforts or the percocet. the fever's down, but again, that's probably the percocet. i normally hate taking meds because i don't feel comfortable masking symtoms that can indicate a problem, but i just couldn't fall asleep. dh had gotten home from work and i read that rest is very important. in fact, as soon as i'm done pumping, i'm going to try to get another 2 hrs before the meds wear off.
162948 tn?1205256292
Try using the warm compresses before pumping and massage while pumping.  Good luck with the infection/clogged duct. Also I just wanted you to know that I know how hard it is to "practice nursing", then bottle feed and pump, but is so worth it.  It really sucks now, but it will get better. I am not sure what your issue is, but my daughter was born 5 weeks early and then had to have heart surgery. It was a long difficult road, but she is now nursing exclusively and gaining weight great!  Thinking of you and wishing you the best!
171768 tn?1324233699
she was born 4 weeks early. 2 weeks ago we had a consultant come to our house. it was a wonderful, positive experience and she gave me insight into the problem. the baby simply wasn't mature enough yet. her due date was this past week, and that was when she finally started to get some of the sucking motions right. i have been in contact with the consultant, and she was going to come back this week. it's very expensive, but worth it.
when did your dd start to nurse successfully? did you have help or did you succeed on your own?
134578 tn?1546634665
I have to say, even though my son was a good sucker from birth, my nipples hurt a lot for a long time with nursing.  It wasn't in the weeks but the months before they stopped burning when he would latch on.  But we persevered, it was so obviously good for him and very comforting for both of us that he would nurse (even with me grimacing in pain at that first chomp each time, LOL).  Now he is a very chubby little guy, and at 7 months I'm so comfortable when he nurses and comforted too, and kind of hope we will join the Over a Year Club.  (I can understand a friend of mine who let her boy nurse if he wanted to until he was 3.)  I like everything about nursing, just wish it would have been possible to skip some of the supplementation we had to do (for other reasons, too long a story to tell) and give him exclusively breast milk.  Oh well, what there is, is good.  The only reason I bore you with this long story is to say it DOES get better, and even if (as in my case) it takes a long time, it is so tremendously worthwhile.  Good luck with the sore duct, as I said in my first post, you might be closer to relief than you think, if you are soaking and pumping.  Sometimes my sorest time would be about 8 hours before I would suddenly notice it was really a lot better.  Annie

ps -- In our breastfeeding class, they made sure to tell us that when your milk comes in for the first time, you feel a little like you have the flu the night before.  Maybe what is happening (besides a clogged duct) is that your milk load is increasing!  :)
162948 tn?1205256292
My daughter started breastfeeding much better around her due date which is what everyone kept telling me, but it was hard to have patience and believe that, but it happened.  I had help from a lactation nurse and occupational therapy at childrens hospital. Also she is my second so I had already breastfed a baby (although he was born at term and had no problems latching or sucking). Good luck and keep at it, she will get it!
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