Hard Painful Lump in Breast. Breast Feeding.

Updated on February 01, 2010
M.A. asks from Lenoir City, TN
13 answers

I have been breast feeding my 8 month old and about 4 days ago I got a hard and very painful lump in my left breast. I also got the flu so bad i could not sit up for long periods to pump. Now I have allot less milk in that breast but the painful lump is still there. I tried warm compresses and massaging it as hard as I can take but it is very painful. I am trying to avoid going to the dr. Any suggestions?

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for your fast wonderful and helpful responces. I had no idae there was such a great site out there for helping with these type of issues. The hot compresses, painful massages, and excessive feeding worked and it feels so much better. My nipple is a little sore from all the excessive use but well worth it. I am truly greatful to all of those who helped me with this painful issue. Thank you:)

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answers from Charlotte on

If you are in the Kannapolis Concord area call Phyllis Kombul Lacatation cnosultant at CMC Northeast medical center in concord.. They don't charge and she is the BEST!!! My daughter is breast feeding twins!!

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answers from San Francisco on

hello M., i had the same problem a couple of months ago and was scared and didn't know what it was! i went to the doctors tho and they felt around and did a whole breast exam! turns out i had nothing to worry about, i had a cloged duct!! very common says the doctor and now i get it every once in a while, i've been breastfeeding my lil one for almost a year now! if it is painfull i could be right that it is a clogged duct! keep up with the hot compress and also pumping or feeding your baby helps even more! i did the hot compress all day, as soon as it got cold i'd put another one on and kept feeding my son, by the next day it was gone!! i too did a light massage as i was putting the hot compress and also as i was feeding! it's always a good thing to go to the doctor tho, even if you don't think you don't need to, especially with the breast area!! trust me, i'm not one for the doctor either!! hope this helps and hope you get better soon!! take care

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

Ouch, sounds like mastitis. The only way I know of to get rid of it is to nurse through it, continue the warm comress and massage. Try calling a Lactation Specialist where you delivered, they can definately help you and it shouldn't cost you any extra.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I just finished breastfeeding my son after 19 months! It sounds to me like you have a blocked/plugged duct which can be very painful! I got these frequently and the best solution that worked for me was to take some Advil and to get in a very hot shower for practically 20-30 minutes and have the water hit the spot directly while massaging it fairly hard. Sometimes I would even use the back (smooth side) of a plastic comb to try to get the duct unplugged. The flu like symptoms you recently had also sounds like you could've had mastitis which is a breast infection and basically it feels like you got run over by a mack truck. Usually a plugged duct can easily lead to mastitis. Maybe it would just be worth a phone call to your doctor to describe your symptoms, maybe they'd prescribe an antibiotic over the phone w/o a visit? Good luck and hope you feel better soon!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

It sounds like you have a clogged duct. Your flu-like symptoms also sound identical to mastitis (infection caused by clogged duct). You will continue to pump less out of that breast until the clog is cleared up. Also, afterwards, it may take 2-7 days for the milk supply to return in full to that breast (just make sure to nurse/pump frequently from that side).

Aside from using a heating pad while you sleep and using hand compressions along with a pump and/or dangle nursing - your best bet at this point may be to get a perscription for an antibiotic. Also, after pumping/massaging - check out your nipple - there may be a blister-like white spot. This is called a bleb. If you puncture it with a sterile needle, it will most likely reduce the pressure and release the clog (along with compressions/pumping, etc.).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M.,
You probably do have a clogged duct, and maybe mastitis too. It usually goes away on its own like one of the other moms said, you should keep nursing even though it's painful. If you can position your baby's chin where the lump is (you may have to get creative) that really can help to massage it out as your baby nurses. But if it isn't getting any better a clogged duct can become a cyst which eventually has to be drained surgically, though it's not a big deal. You want to keep working on it though. Use a heating pad after you nurse, and keep massaging it. It will probably go away in a few days, but if not, you'll have to get it checked out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Sounds like a clogged duct. It may take 3-4 days to work out. Pump or nurse as often as possible. Massage the lump while nursing. Try to point your babies nose toward where it hurts so they are in the best position to clear the duct. Basically you have a lump of solid milk in your breast which can happen if the milk sits too long. It will take a little time for that to get sucked out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

You most likely have mastitis, an infection in the breast. It is usually accompanied with flu like systoms and/or a migraine. You need to get an antibotic right away. If you leave this go, you can end up with an abscess. I am not a fan of running to the doctor and pumping our bodies full of medicines, but this is the one time I would go (and is about the only time I do go to the dr. for an antibotic). You need to continue to let baby nurse from that breast no matter how bad it hurts, heat is good, and get lots of rest (as much as you can). Ask for help from family and friends if you have to. Don't mess with mastitis.



answers from Raleigh on

The mastitis is probably what you had when you thought you had the flu. Try nursing your baby by placing him/her on the bed and getting on your hands and kneed directly over him/her. The gravity combined with your baby's nursing will help clear out all of the ducts. You should feel a big difference after doing this a few times.


answers from Fayetteville on

You could try running hot water over the breast in the shower. As hot as you can stand then try massaging breast while water is running over it.

Ways of increasing milk supply:

Drink 3-4 glasses of oatmeal gruel daily. Gruel is a light porridge or cooked oat punch.

Use your whole grain cereals like corn (especially the one that you have grated yourself) whole wheat, oats, etc.

Drink carrot juice quite often.

Drink plenty of hot water and certain teas like Rosemary tea, fennel seed tea, and Comfrey.

Include in the diet lots of sunflower seeds, dry food yeast and raw salads.

Hope this help



answers from Charlotte on

Why on earth are you avoiding going to the doctor? You need to make sure you don't have mastitis. You could need antibiotics.

The doctor can also tell you if you should be pumping your breast but not feeding it to the baby. Sometimes when you are sick, you aren't supposed to give the baby the milk. It is very hard when you are ill to nurse or pump (that's happened to me) and it definitely affects your milk supply. But you need help to know what that lump is and how to help it. Go to the doctor right away.

Best of luck,



answers from Louisville on

Mastitis. It is an infected milk duct. Symptoms include flu-like symptoms, including fever. Your doctor may want you to take antibiotics to get rid of it.



answers from Raleigh on

What you may of thought to be the flu could actually of been Mastitis. It does cause flu like symptoms. Try taking a really hot bath and soaking that breast, followed by expression, and then fresh crushed cabbage leaves stuffed into your bra. (sounds bazarre, really works) Nurse/pump more frequently on that side while applying pressure. If it doesn't go away or seems to get worse you will probably need an antibiotic.

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