Clogged duct, if not cared properly, may lead to mastitis. The symptoms include pain, lump, redness and mild fever. The breasts are tender and swollen. Massaging technique is an important treatment option for breast engorgement and clogged duct.
How Do I Massage My Breast To Clear A Clogged Duct?
Breast massage technique is significantly helpful in managing the condition of breast engorgement and clogged ducts. Breast engorgement is defined as the collection of milk in the breast due to imbalance demand and supply and clogged milk duct is the condition, in which the milk is not properly drained due to blockage in milk ducts. The main approach of the massaging techniques includes encouraging the flow of fluid through lymphatic circulation and the removal of milk from the area of collection. Following are the steps in breast massaging to clear a clogged duct:
- Some lubricating, non-irritating oil such as olive oil is applied on the finger tips.
- The region of areola on the breast is gently massaged.
- After massaging the areola, the whole breasts should be massaged in a circular motion. During this, the breasts can be tapped with the finger tips or pressed with the fists.
- The hand expressions can be used in between the massage to remove the milk from the breasts.
- When the milk flow starts, the frequency of hand expression should be more as compared to massage.
- The massage can be continued for approximately 1-1.5 hours, depending upon the requirement.
- Breastfeeding may be continued from the other breast during massage.
For breast engorgement, the massage can be done in two directions, one from the middle of the breast towards the arm pit region to enhance circulation of lymph flow and the other from the middle of the breasts towards the middle of the chest. This will help in the removal of additional milk which is not removed through hand expression.
Symptoms Of Clogged Duct
Following are the symptoms experienced by the patient:
Pain: As the milk deposition due to clogged duct creates pressure on the tissue, the pain is felt in the breasts.
Swollen And Tender Breasts: Due to the deposition of large amount of milk in the ducts, the breasts swell and are tender to touch.
Mild Fever: The patient may experience mild fever due to pain and inflammation.
Redness: The upper skin of the breast becomes red due to inflammation.
Lump: Lump is also felt by the patient on the breast having clogged duct.
Nipple Blisters: White milk bleb or nipple blister also present on the nipples.
Causes Of Clogged Duct
Following are the causes for clogged duct:
Fatigue And Stress: As the muscle contraction helps in releasing the milk from the alveoli to the nipple, fatigue may reduce the flow of milk and cause clogging.
Breast Constriction: Tight fitting clothes compresses the breasts and reduced the chances of proper drainage.
Nursing In Same Position: Nursing in similar position also causes milk duct clog.
Change In Feeding Pattern: Change in feeding pattern by the baby imbalances the timing of milk synthesis and milk release from the nipples leading to a milk collection.
Insufficient Use Of Breast Pump: Insufficient use of breast pump does not remove all the excess milk from the breast leading to clog.
Treatment For Clogged Duct
Massage: Massaging is an effective option to remove the excess milk from the breasts. Various massaging techniques are used.
Changing Breastfeed Position: The mother should change the breastfeeding position frequently so that there is an even release of milk from all the ducts.
Avoid Tight Fitting Clothes: Tight fitting clothes should be avoided as tight clothes may reduce the flow of milk.
Using Breast Pump: Breast pump may be sufficiently used to remove the excess milk that may cause clogging.
Massaging and hand expressions are used in combination for the removal of excess milk present in the breasts. Massaging is usually done for 1-1.5 hours and the breastfeeding can be continued from the other breast.