During the breastfeeding phase, a mother can get a blocked duct whereby some of the milk does are retained, and it instead dries up and as a result prevents the rest of the milk from flowing out. Mostly it is a result of not thoroughly draining the breast and happens mainly in the first stages of breastfeeding when the mother’s breasts are engorged.
If you are wondering how you can tell if there’s a blocked duct, it is a painful lump in your breast that varies from the size of a pea to that of a peach. It might be sore, red, and irritated. However, sometimes it can appear in the form of a red, swollen, tender patch on the breast’s surface. So how can you get rid of blocked ducts? The following are some tips;
• Remove as much milk as you can
One of the ideal ways to remove a plugged duct naturally is by removing as much milk as possible. Sometimes the breast might be too painful, making it hard to breastfeed. At such times an electric breast pump is recommended. You can also try long breastfeeding sessions to get the milk flowing through the blocked ducts finally.
• Nurse frequently
If you want to get your milk flowing correctly, then try breastfeeding regularly. Do it more frequently than usual but make sure you don’t miss regular feedings. When feeding your baby always start with the affected breast and adjust to different positions to allow better drainage. Sometimes you can tell if your baby drains the breast entirely. If that’s not the case, manually pump the milk out yourself to prevent it from clogging in the ducts.
• Breast massage
Massaging your breast gently helps release the clog. When doing a breast massage, move your thumb from behind the plug towards the nipple end and concentrate more on the firm area. Don’t be in a hurry when doing the massage since how well you do it has significant impact on getting good results. You can try massaging from the front of the plug to the nipple as well to clear the path.
• Try out moist heat
Moist heat is an effective method for relieving pain as well as loosening the plug in the duct. It is a highly recommended treatment by doctors since it removes blocked ducts effectively. Try warm compresses on your breast or several hot showers a day to soothe and relieve clogged ducts. It can also be a preventive measure.
If you experience blocked ducts, it’s always advisable you get them treated as soon as possible to avoid mastitis. If you experience any symptoms of a blocked duct, the above tips should help you solve the problem quickly before it becomes a real issue. You should be able to treat blocked ducts within two days with the right procedure.