Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Clogged or blocked milk ducts are a very common occurrence in breastfeeding women. Milk ducts are the small little tube-like structures that transport the milk from the milk glands to the nipple, for the baby to be suckling. When these milk ducts get blocked the milk starts to build-up in the milk ducts, thereby causing a lump in the ducts. This lump may not be bothersome at all, or maybe so painful that it makes breastfeeding an unpleasant experience. These plugs usually go away on their own. However, if they don’t, and start causing discomfort, they need to be removed with the help of certain methods, so that they do not progress into something more harmful. There are various methods by which these clogged ducts can be taken care of.

Get Rid Of Clogged Ducts By Massage

Out of the various ways get rid of a clogged duct, massaging the breasts is one efficient way to tackle the problem. The breast massage can be done in many ways, including but not limited to the following-

Get rid of clogged ducts by massaging with thumb pressure:

  • Massaging the breasts gently yet firmly with the help of your thumb is a good way to get results
  • Start by placing the thumb just behind the lump area
  • With the rest of the fingers positioned in such a way that it feels like you are firmly grasping your breast in a hold, slowly start pressing with the thumb from behind the lump area, moving forwards towards the nipple
  • Do it several times to drain the breast and remove the lump or unclogging the blocked duct
  • This may be helpful in the first go, or you may have to repeat the procedure several times throughout the day
  • Just make sure to be firm but gentle

Get rid of clogged ducts by massaging with warm compress:

  • Massaging the breasts with the help of a warm compressed on the area of the clogged duct can facilitate in improved draining of the breast
  • This in turn, will facilitate the removal of the plug by dislodging it
  • A warm compress can be made by using a towel dipped in warm water and placing on the area of the clogged duct
  • Alternatively, you can stand below a hot shower or run a hot bath and allow the heat to facilitate the draining of the breasts and dislodging the plug
  • You can also fill a basin or a tub with hot water and dip your breasts in it by bending forwards
  • Gently and firmly massage the breasts from behind the clogged area towards the nipple to facilitate draining

Get rid of clogged ducts by proper positioning of the baby:

  • Another great way to apply pressure on the clogged duct to help it drain itself easily is to position the baby while breastfeeding in such a way that baby’s chin or nose applies a pressure on the clogged area
  • This gentle pressure will nudge the plug to dislodge itself and will also help you ease the discomfort while breastfeeding, and feeding the baby all at the same time

Get rid of clogged ducts by proper pressure massage:

  • According to some specialists, pressure massage is another great way to help getting rid of the clogged ducts
  • Usually, a massage involves rhythmic movements of hands for applying pressure on the desired area
  • However, in this technique, you apply pressure with the palm to the area which is near the chest wall and is painful
  • You need to press firmly and increase the pressure gradually until the pain recedes
  • Start moving the hands down with small increments and apply pressure in the same way till you reach the nipples
  • Applying this kind of pressure may help in dislodging the lump caused by the clogged duct

Clogged milk ducts can be unnoticeable or very painful at times. With proper care and massage treatments, you can efficiently get rid of the discomfort caused by the clogged ducts.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 3, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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