There’s no need to wonder how to clear a clogged milk duct anymore! Here are fast and easy ways to clear any blockage in your nipples.
Breastfeeding is beautiful…but there are many struggles related to nursing our precious little ones. One of them is having clogged milk ducts that are as painful as it is frustrating. Whether you are experiencing this or are scared that you might find yourself in this situation in the future, worry not. Help is here. There are ways how to clear up clogged milk ducts.
But before anything else, how do you know for sure that you have clogged milk ducts?
According to Healthline, here are some indications that you are dealing with clogged milk ducts:
- a lump in one area of your breast
- engorgement around the lump
- pain or swelling near the lump
- discomfort that subsides after feeding/pumping
- pain during letdown
- milk plug/blister (bleb) at the opening of your nipple
- movement of the lump over time
Do these symptoms check out? If yes, here is how to clear up clogged milk ducts and be on your way to nourishing your little one.
How To Clear A Clogged Milk Duct?
1. Whatever you do, DON’T pinch or pop the clog
It can be tempting, we know. But doing so can only lead to more problems than you already have. Forcing milk to come out will only lead to more pain and possible infection. So please don’t do it, mama!
2. Apply a heating pad
A warm compress for 20 minutes at a time can help. After that, you can use a pad, warm cloth, or anything to keep your nipple warm and cosy as you try to ease the clog. You can even take this to the next level and opt to take relaxing warm showers.
3. Use Epsom salt
Soaking breasts in warm Epsom salt baths for about 10 to 20 minutes can help draw clog out of your milk ducts. Doing so can also help alleviate your pain and swelling.
All you have to do is mix 2-3 cups of water with 1/2 cup Epsom salt. Then, soak a clean towel in the mixture and gently place it over the affected area. You can also cover it with a dry washcloth on top to prevent water from dripping to other body parts or your linens.
4. Try the dangle feeding position
Try going for a position where your baby’s chin or nose points toward the clogged duct, making it easier to loosen the milk and drain it.
If this doesn’t work, you can go breastfeeding on all fours (often called dangle feeding) or any other position to manage where the baby is under your breasts. In this case, gravity will be your best friend, trying to remove the clog and drain the breasts.
5. Wear loose clothing
Repeat after us: let it breathe. Your breasts are already going through tough times. Avoid tight-fitting clothing that can only worsen the pain of clogged ducts. Now is also a great time to stay away from wired bras.
6. Massage the clog
Don’t underestimate the power of your touch. Sometimes, all it takes is lovingly massaging the clog. Please start with the area above it and gently push down and out towards your nipple. Remember that the key here is to make light repetitive touches to avoid irritating your breasts.
7. Take a daily lecithin supplement
If you have a clogged duct, some recommend taking a lecithin supplement to help resolve it quickly. According to Healthline, lecithin decreases the stickiness of breast milk, allowing it to flow more smoothly.
8. Bonus Tip: Soothe your nipples
Nipple creams will not necessarily help remove the clogs. However, using a nipple cream will be very effective in helping you get through the discomfort and pain that you may be experiencing along with clogged ducts.
Besides soothing sore nipples, Mama’s Choice Intensive Nipple Cream is also made with food-grade ingredients so that you can apply it before you nurse your baby to check if the clog has already cleared.
And even after you’ve drained the clog, this will still be essential in preventing cracked and sore nipples that may come your way.
The Takeaway on Clogged Ducts
Clogged ducts are common, and some mothers are more prone to experiencing them. While these tips on how to clear up clogged milk ducts can be helpful, you should also be prepared for possible complications such as mastitis.
This happens when your breast tissue becomes inflamed and results in pain, redness, swelling, and warmth, accompanied by chills and fever. Again, it would be best to consult a doctor for the mama and baby’s health and safety when this happens.
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