Breastfeeding is a simple way to feed baby, but it can come with complications. The most common complications with breast feeding are plugged ducts, a plugged pore or a more painful condition, mastitis.
Plugged ducts can show up as a small, hard lump in the ducts of your breast. It can be common, especially when the milk doesn’t completely empty from a duct during a feeding. The small lump can be warm to the touch and even red. Its more likely to happen if the baby is not sucking properly, there is too much milk in the breast, or using a pump that is ineffective.
One of the best ways to prevent a plugged duct is make sure you are feeding the baby on a predictable schedule, and the baby is sucking properly. Avoid putting too much pressure on the breasts and this includes sleeping on your stomach.
If you do get a plugged duct, massage the breast and apply warm compresses. It may take 2-3 feedings before you can resolve the issue.
A plugged pore happens on the tip of the nipple and shows up as small white spot. It is also known as a bleb. You can treat this at home but sometimes, your health care provider will need to help resolve this.
Mastitis is an infection that can happen if there is a cracked or blistered nipple. The symptoms of mastitis are a hard lump, red streaks, high fever and flu like symptoms. You will likely experience some pain as well. It’s important to get plenty of rest and use warm compresses before feedings. Don’t stop breastfeeding. It’s important to keep your breasts emptied of milk and keep the pressure down. You will need antibiotics from your doctor in order to handle this kind of infection.
Not every woman will suffer with breast infections while nursing but it’s important to be aware of them so you can start to remedy any problem as soon as you notice the first symptoms. If you have questions or concerns about discomfort you experience while nursing, make sure you check with your provider at Madison Women’s Clinic. We are here to help.