Archived Q&A and Reviews
Is baby sling causing plugged ducts?June 2003
I'm breastfeeding my 7-week old, and have had to deal with 4 plugged ducts in 3 weeks, all in the same general area of my right breast -- the same area where my baby sling often rests. So I'm guessing that the sling may be causing some of this, which is distressing since both my baby and I really enjoy the sling. It really doesn't feel like the sling puts much pressure there, but the other common causes of plugged ducts (underwire bras, not drinking enough water, etc.) don't sound like they fit our situation, and I'm told it doesn't take much pressure to aggravate the tissue. Does that sound right? I'm going to try wearing the sling less and alternating the sides on which I wear it, and would love any other suggestions. We use the Koala sling, if that makes a difference (we need an adjustable sling because my husband and I are quite different heights). I seem to remember hearing that there's a woman who will come to your home and consult with you on sling-wearing technique, but I couldn't find any info regarding her on the website. Are there ways to wear a sling that would minimize these effects?
A sling can indeed be the cause of a plugged duct, if you are sensitive. I am nursing a 13 mo old, and though I haven't gotten a plugged duct in probably 6 months, I still start to get sore if I wear a too tight shirt, an ill-fitting bra, or even a seatbelt after a while. Perhaps trying another sling would work, though I was never able to wear one succesfully. Also, my problem was much worse in the beginning, and got better as time went along. anon
I had MANY clogged ducts (and one case of mastitis) with my first child then started having the clogged ducts again with my second. Everyone, including my doctor and lactation consultant, focused more on the symptoms but not the cause. I was always trying to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day but I finally figured out that if I drank just short of that amount, I would have a clogged duct the next day. I made a point to drink about 10 cups a day (including milk, water, etc) and had not further problems. I hope this helps. I can sympathize! elizabeth
A friend of mine had problems with clogged ducts and took a lecithin supplement that seemed to help. anon