A clogged milk duct is not only painful, but it can turn to mastitis. If you are wondering how to unclog a milk duct, this is the spot for you. We will go over clogged milk duct symptoms as well as some natural remedies on how to clear a clogged milk duct.
Having a blocked milk duct is something that you don’t want to experience and if you do, you may be wondering how to get rid of a clogged milk duct as soon as possible.
Symptoms of a Clogged Milk Duct
Some ways you know if you have a blocked duct are your breast will be sore, you might have a small lump on it where the blockage is. This small lump will be sore to touch/press on.
When I had a clogged duct I was also more tired than normal, it hurt to nurse initially, but some of the pain would be relieved after nursing. My breast was also really warm (aka hot) to the touch.
A clogged duct is when the milk is obstructed from coming out.
Even after the blockage is removed, your breast may still feel tender for a few days.
I have compiled a short list of ways to help you unclog your milk duct.
If one of these doesn’t work – keep trying the same one as well as trying another method. Sometimes it takes a bit of persistence to get it unclogged.
Also – please note that I am NOT a doctor, nurse or other professional. Just a Mom, who has been there and wants to share what worked for herself and her friends. None of this is medical advice. As always, you should talk with your doctor or midwife about any health concerns you have.
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How to Unclog a Milk Duct
1. Massage with your hand in a hot shower
Sometimes, if you massage your breast in a hot shower this can help to release the blockage. You should be able to feel where the blockage is occurring, so this is where you want to focus on, but massage all around this area.
It’s best to massage from the top of the breast (so closer to your chest wall) and go down towards your nipple.
2. Wide Tooth Comb in Shower or w/lotion
You can try using a wide-tooth comb when in the shower or with some lotion.
You use the comb to brush from your underarm (or ribcage, depending on where the clog is) down to your nipple.
3. Use a Breast Pump
Try pumping the blockage out.
Use your breast pump to try and suck the blockage out.
Sometimes the breast pump has more suction than your baby and so it does a better job at getting the blockage out.
4. Position baby’s chin over the blockage
When nursing your baby, position him/her so that it’s chin is over the clogged milk duct.
This position can help suck the blockage out.
5. Husband try to nurse block out
You can also try and have your husband suck the blockage out.
Your husband has a stronger suck than your baby and so a lot of times he is able to get the blockage out, while your baby isn’t.
6. Dangle Feed
When you dangle feed – you have your baby laying on the bed and you are “dangling” you breast over his/her mouth.
Something about this position will allow the clogged milk duct to release the blockage.
7. Castor Oil Packs
You can try using castor oil packs on your clogged duct.
8. Cabbage Leaves
Cabbage leaves are supposed to be great for getting rid of blocked ducts.
This was always next on my list of remedies to try, but I was always able to clear my plugged duct before I got this far.
I’ve heard both heating the leaves as well as leaving them cold for advice. So I personally would try them cold first (I think the cold leaves would allow my breast to feel some relief – plus it’s less effort!) Then, if that didn’t work, I’d try heating them up.
If you have a clogged duct, I hope one of these remedies helps you and you get some relief soon!
If you have a remedy that worked well for you that I don’t have listed, make sure to let me know in the comments below.