Breastfeeding

Blocked Ducts If the milk flow gets clogged, you can get a plugged milk duct. These can feel like pea-sized lumps or an area of engorgement in your breast. They are often sore to the touch, like a bruise. The area may also be warm to the touch. Causes of blocked ducts: • Engorgement from oversupply, limiting feeding time, latching problems. • Infrequent or skipped feedings. • Pressure on a duct from a tight or underwire bra or thumb/finger pressure. • Stress or fatigue. • Breast surgery.

Supportive measures for blocked ducts: • Warm shower or warm pack to affected area. • Frequent feedings.

• Gently massage the affected area toward the nipple while nursing. • Feed your baby on the affected breast first at each feeding session until the plugged duct is better. • Alternate feeding positions if needed. • Hand express or gently pump after feedings.

• Apply a cold pack if there is discomfort after feeding. • Drink plenty of fluids and get adequate nutrition. • REST. • Take anti-inflamatory medications (eg. ibuprofen) Mastitis

If a blocked duct continues, it can become swollen and lead to mastitis . A breast infection can also occur if the nipples are cracked allowing an entry point for infection or if there is already a nipple infection. If an infection occurs, it is the tissue surrounding the blockage, not the breast milk that is infected. Use the supportive measures noted under blocked ducts. In addition, seek treatment from your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following: • Fever over 100.4˚F. • Chills, body aches, or flu-like symptoms. • Mastitis in both breasts. • Breast pain or burning while feeding or all of the time. • Red streaks on the breast. • Baby is less than 2 weeks old. • You have had a recent hospital stay. If you have an infection and your healthcare provider prescribes an antibiotic: • Take it as directed until gone. • If symptoms are not better in 2 to 3 days get re-evaluated.

If the baby refuses to eat or you have to skip a feeding, pump or manually express your milk.

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