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I have been nursing my baby for 10 weeks, but in the last few days, I have noticed there is something happened. I saw that my areola has gotten very puffy right around my nipple. This lump is very soft, but it is also extremely sore at the same time. While I am nursing, the pain goes away, but comes back as soon as I finish. I was wondering could this be a plugged duct, or what else lump on areola could be?

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The most likely cause of a tender lump on areola of a nursing mother is a plugged duct. This is usually case when it is not accompanied by fever or flu-like symptoms. Plugged ducts as it could be case with you, seem to be more common in women who have an abundant milk supply. The best treatment is to continue nursing at least every two hours, preferably starting with the side where you have noticed lump on areola. You could also try to apply moist heat to the affected area and massage gently while your breast is still warm. Soaking your breast in warm water several times a day, by leaning forward into a basin, or in the tub is soothing and effective in helping this to resolve. Breastfeeding immediately after the heat and massage routine will help to unplug the affected duct and help you with lump on areola. If your lump persists for more than a week following treatment for a plugged duct, it should be evaluated by your physician. You should talk to him especially if you develop a fever or flu-like symptoms, or swelling, heat and redness in your breast, which is important for the situation. Although nursing mom's breasts are lumpier, any mass in your breast that remains constant in size also needs to be assessed by your doctor.
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