Treat a Blocked Milk Duct Naturally

Different than mastitis, a blocked milk duct is just as painful. Often caused by an inability to fully drain the breast either because of a distracted baby or ¬†trouble with latching on, blocked milk ducts can cause problems with feedings because it hurts so much to nurse or pump. It is most common in women over 30 who are new mothers, new mothers in general, and those whose baby’s suffer from malformations such as cleft palates that cause problems with latching on. Thankfully, it is easy to fix and prevent!

 

How do I know if I have a blocked duct?

  • Usually only affects one breast at a time
  • A hard tender lump in one breast
  • Feels worse before feeding and less sore after feeding
  • Nursing can be painful
  • Does not have a fever; if you have a¬† fever contact your doctor
  • Milk supply may decrease
  • Thick, grainy milk
  • Bruising

 

How can I prevent a blocked milk duct?

  • Try to fully and efficiently drain all the milk from a breast during feeding.
  • Get a bra that fits properly and doesn’t strangle your breasts.
  • Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach while breast feeding.
  • Wean gradually.
  • Keep your baby focused on eating.
  • Don’t skip feedings when you can avoid it.

 

How can I treat a blocked milk duct?

  • Pump or feed every two hours and make sure you empty your breasts.
  • If feeding is too painful, use a pump.
  • Use warm compresses to help with flow before you pump or nurse.
  • Soak your breasts in an epsom salt bath; rinse before feeding to remove any saltiness.
  • In a warm shower, hand milk yourself by massaging from the swollen duct towards the nipple.
  • Massage before you feed or pump.
  • Try dangle feeding to use gravity to open the duct naturally.
  • Get rest.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
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