Ouch! It’s painful and not fun in the slightest. Nursing was once enjoyable and now makes you want to cry and stop altogether. A clogged milk duct can be annoying, make you cringe, and feel flat out awful. Thankfully, all of the nursing moms I know have dealt with a clogged milk duct at some point and continued to nurse successfully.
There are a few things you can do right away to start healing. Yay! It might be exactly opposite your instinct, but the best thing to do is continue nursing. Perseverance my friend.
Here are a few tips to help relieve a clogged milk duct:
- Warm the infected area for a few minutes before nursing. I have a small cloth hand-heater that plugs into the wall. If you have a heating pad or blanket, they should work just as well! A warm wash cloth will suffice, although it may not stay warm as long as you might hope. You can also take advantage of a warm shower by letting the water run on your breast as you massage the infected area.
- Nurse often while massaging the clogged area toward the nipple. If your little one will nurse every few hours, it will benefit you greatly. But don’t forget to nurse using both breasts. While dealing with a clogged duct, I placed all of my focus on draining the infected breast. My other breast became engorged and it was painful! So save yourself unnecessary pain and continue nursing on both sides.
- Many moms have told me the worst part of nursing with a clogged milk duct is at let down. The same was true for me. I found the advice of taking your baby off the breast during let down (or nursing the other breast during let down) relived some of the pain. After let down, resume nursing on infected breast.
- Hand-express or pump. After each nursing session completely drain the infected breast.
The pain can be awful, but try to remind yourself it will get better. Of course, talk with your lactation consultant for any clogged milk duct questions you have. Moms are tough, and I am sending you encouragement during this trying time!
Welcome to Mom Monday, I’m so glad you’re here!
I’m Emily and currently chasing after a rambunctious 2-year-old, Elsy, and a sweet spirited 6-month-old, Avenly. Hopefully the information shared here will help fill you with as much joy on your nursing journey as I have received in mine.