What's the Deal with Clogged Ducts?
Milk Duct FAQ's
What does a clogged milk duct feel like?
A clogged milk duct can occur in any area in the breast where the milk ducts are not draining well and can prevent not only proper flow but also cause discomfort. Typically, these feel like a firm, sore lump in the breast and can sometimes appear red and warm to touch.
What causes a clogged milk duct?
Typically this is caused by incomplete draining and can be positional related, too much pressure on the breast from a tight bra or shirt, infrequent feeds, and even an inadequate latch causing incomplete drainage.
How can you be sure of the difference between a cancerous lump and a clogged milk duct?
Sometimes breast lumps can occur normally as part of a woman’s hormonal cycle but if it is similar to the other breast, then it is likely to be normal breast tissue. If there are any lumps that are hard or noticeably different from the rest of the breast, it’s worthwhile to get checked by a physician.
Where can a clogged milk duct be located?
Clogged milk ducts are small, hard lumps in the breast that can be superficial but some can feel deeper within the breast.
How do you get rid of a clogged milk duct?
Application of a heating pad or a warm cloth for 20 minutes is a well-known remedy. Another pain relief is soaking the breasts in warm salt baths for 10-20 minutes at a time or massage in the shower. It is essential to consider that the way the baby is fed might be affecting the clogged milk ducts. You can change breastfeeding positions so that the baby's chin or nose points toward the clogged duct or dangle feeding so gravity and baby’s sucking motion can work together.
Is it safe for mom and baby to continue nursing if you have a clogged milk duct?
While it might be painful for the mom to continue nursing, it is 100% safe for the baby to be nursed with a clogged milk duct and may actually help resolve the clogged duct with appropriate massage during a feed.