Weaning is the process of shifting the baby from milk to adult diet or solid food. This may cause clogged duct and there are various ways to get away from the clogged duct due to weaning.
Weaning is the process in which the baby is shifted from only-milk diet to solid diet. Weaning may either be decided or abruptly done from the baby’s end when the baby does not take the mother’s milk and thus shifted on the solid diet. Weaning may lead to clogged milk duct as the milk so produced is not used and remains stored in the breasts.
How Do You Get Rid Of Clogged Milk Ducts After Weaning?
After weaning, as the breastfeeding has stopped, thus the extra milk produced should be drained properly from the breast and the milk ducts. If this does not happen, the milk ducts get clogged and the patient experience pain and tender breasts. Further, if the clogged milk ducts are not managed at an early stage and allowed to persist for longer period, it may lead to mastitis and breast abscess.
Warming: The breast should be warmed with the moist cloth. This will help in unclogging the clogged milk ducts. The warming of the breast also reduces the pain and inflammation which is developed due to blockage in ducts.
Avoid Tight Fitting Clothes: The tight fitting clothes compresses the breast and this leads to the constriction of milk ducts. This leads to improper flow of the milk and thus causes clogged milk ducts. Thus, tight fitting clothes should be avoided after weaning, to properly drain the milk.
Massage: Massage and hand expression are the techniques used for the removal of clogged milk ducts. Further, it also helps in breast engorgement which is developed due to excess milk production. Proper massaging technique should be used to remove the clogged duct. The duration of massage varies from 1-1.5 hours depending upon the severity of clogged duct.
Using Breast Pump: To remove the clogged milk ducts and to prevent its recurrence, breast pump should be used to drain the excess milk produced in the breast. The beast pump should be used for the sufficient time to drain the milk completely to prevent further development of clogged milk ducts.
Epsom Salt: Clogged milk ducts also cause pain and inflammation as well as breast becomes tender. To reduce the symptoms, warm Epsom salt bath can also be an effective alternate.
Medicines: To reduce the symptoms of pain and inflammation also to the concurrent fever, various medicines such as analgesics, anti-inflammatory and antipyretics, are prescribed.
Reason For Clogged Milk Ducts
Change In Breast Feeding Pattern: When the breast feeding pattern of the baby changes or when the breastfeeding is skipped, there is a mismatch between the synthesis of the milk and draining of the milk leading to milk engorgement and clogged milk ducts.
Insufficient Use Of Breast Pump: When the breast pump is used for insufficient time, the milk is not completely removed leading to the clogged milk ducts. Thus, breast pump should be used till the complete milk is drained from the breasts.
Nursing In Same Position: Nursing in the same position leads to uneven flow of the milk from the milk ducts. The milk duct with lesser flow rate is at risk of clogged milk ducts.
Baby’s Early Withdrawal Of Mother’s Milk: When the baby does not feed on the mother’s milk as in weaning, there is a time gap between the weaning and the stoppage of the synthesis of milk by the breasts. This time gap increases the risk of clogged milk ducts.
Fatigue And Stress: Flow of milk from the alveoli to the nipples through milk duct is controlled by the muscle contraction. In case of fatigue and stress, there is a low muscle contraction leading to improper flow of milk. This may cause clogged milk ducts.
Trauma To The Breasts: If there is any trauma to the breasts such as use of high force during breastfeeding, clogged milk ducts may occur.
Various methods through which clogged milk ducts can be removed or prevented are massaging, warming, avoiding tight clothes, using breast pumps and taking general medicines for pain and inflammation.