Clogged Milk Ducts

Clogged milk ducts are something that most if not every nursing mother has endured. If your breast becomes tender, red and sore in areas it is usually the result of a clogged milk duct. This problem can occur during initial weeks of breastfeeding. Some women may get this problem after weaning, but it can occur any time when your baby is still nursing. Here are the causes and remedies for it.

Clogged Milk Duct – Causes

  • When the flow of the milk is abundant and the baby is  not able to drink enough in order to empty the duct.
  • This makes the duct congested with milk.
  • This also happens if the mother is not able to feed her baby.
  • Sometimes if the schedule of the baby changes due to fever or the baby is suffering from cold.
  • A clogged duct may also occur when the baby start weaning.
  • The milk is unable to pass which leads to swelling on the breasts.
  • Sometimes wrong position while feeding the baby also leads to duct.
  • Improper bra may also lead to clogging of milk duct during pregnancy.

Clogged Milk Duct – Symptoms

  • The tissues of the area become inflamed
  • The skin near the breast turns red and becomes soft.
  • Breast pain is caused due to hard lumps which are formed on the breasts.
  • It does not cause fever, however, if one is experiencing clog milk duct along with fever then it is a serious breast infection case known as mastitis.

Clogged Milk Duct – Treatment

  • Nurse your baby frequently if you are suffering from clogged milk duct.
  • You will get relief from pain when the baby sucks the milk and the duct will get empty.
  • During breastfeeding, keep changing the positions. This will help your baby to suck milk from different areas of the breast.
  • Pump out the extra milk after breastfeeding in order to keep the ducts clear.
  • Massage gently on those areas where the swelling is formed.
  • Another effective home remedy is to apply cabbage leaves. It sounds funny, but it works! Purchase a cabbage and keep it in the refrigerator. Rinse off the leaves in case there are any residues from pesticides. When you finish nursing, put the cold cabbage leaf on the sore breast, covering the sore area and nipple. This soothes the breast and fights the bacteria which may develop into mastitis.
  • Also warm compression on the breasts can also help you in reducing the lumps and improves milk flow.
  • You will also want to get some extra rest. Take a nap when your baby does. This will help your body fight off infection

Clogged milk duct is normal and experienced by many women during breastfeeding. Do not keep a long gap between two feeding sessions, and make sure to feed the baby first with the breast that is sore. This will help to get rid of the clog. If you are experiencing fever along with a clogged milk duct, consult to doctor immediately.

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