There is no easy way to say it, plugged ducts are a royal pain in the you know what. Hopefully you have stumbled upon this page because you are experiencing your first and last plugged duct. A plugged duct can be recognized as a hardened lump in a portion of your breast. If you have a fever or other symptoms you may have mastitis. For a few of us unlucky ones, plugged ducts can be an annoying, uncomfortable, and reoccurring problem.
If you are suffering from plugged ducts fairly often, the first thing you should do is check your babys latch to make sure that he is removing milk effectively. A few other precautions that you can take include:
- Don’t wear tight bras or clothing that applies consistent pressure to any spot on your breast.
- Nurse your baby on demand.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach or in any position that applies pressure to your breasts.
- When wearing a purse, drape it over your shoulder instead of across your chest.
Okay now for what to do when you have a plugged duct:
- Nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse!
- Massage the breast over the plug and toward the nipple while nursing.
- Soak your breast in warm water or take a hot bath and lie on your side.
- Vary your nursing position so that your baby has their nose or chin is pointing toward the plug.
- Try to relax, the plug will usually come out with time.
- Check for any hardened milk on your nipple that may be the cause of a plug. Try removing the milk with a wash cloth.
Many moms, myself included, have found taking supplements of Lecithin to be a huge help. Lecithin can be taken as a precautionary measure or after a plug is present. More information about lecithin can be found here:
If you are concerned about reoccurring plugged ducts or your baby’s latch, please contact an IBCLC or a La Leche League Leader. I would love to hear what tricks have worked for other mamas out there!