Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Breast Feeding Clogged Duct

If you have had clogged ducts in the past, or do currently, or even if you have a baby and just want some information about what to do should this happen, then you've come to the right place. I'm going to go over reasons your ducts can get clogged and then ways to fix the problem.

Reasons they could be clogged:
  • Baby is having trouble feeding, perhaps has an improper latch, or isn't feeding enough
  • You're using a pump that's not powerful enough
  • You've abruptly weaned your baby
  • Compressing or damaging the ducts due to pressure from a nursing bra that doesn't fit properly or sleeping on your stomach
  • You may be ill, like with a cold
  • You're under stress, which lowers production of oxytocin
  • If you've had surgery, like breast biopsy
What you can do is:
  • Nurse. It may be painful on the affected side, but if you do it frequently, it will empty the breast which will make you more comfortable and cause less inflammation
  • Nurse on the affected side first because the baby sucks strongest at the beginning
  • Use a breast pump or hand press the milk out
  • Massage the sore area frequently and firmly, starting from the outside and working your way towards the nipple
  • Apply warm compresses before nursing
  • Change your nursing position
  • Take ibuprofen or talk to your doctor
  • Get plenty of rest, eat nutritious foods, and drink plenty of fluid to boost your immune system
So if this is a problem for you, follow some of these tips to fix it, or if you do it ahead of time, you may be able to even prevent it. And, as always, you can ask your physician for helpful advice, as well.


  1. Great resource. I run a parenting resource group in Chicago called ABC Moms, and one of the services we offer is lactation consulting - many moms come to us experiencing problems with clogged ducts, among other things. We've produced a short article with extra tips for breastfeeding mothers, and I thought I would share it in case it's helpful:

    Thanks again for this informative post!

    Dana Burke

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