How to clear clogged milk ducts
If you are wondering how to clear clogged milk ducts, then you are in the right place. Nursing moms who have problems with milk flow can attest to how frustrating it is to know your baby isn’t feeding properly. The breasts can also become tender and engorged because of the milk trapped in there.
Thankfully, you can resolve your milk flow problem by following these tried and tested unclogging methods.
What are clogged milk ducts?
Ducts carry milk to the nipple for the baby to feed on. If one or more of these ducts are blocked, then you might be suffering from clogged milk ducts. Clogged milk ducts prevent the smooth flow of breast milk to the nipples.
When the ducts that are supposed to carry milk to the nipple are not doing their job, the milk tends to gather in the duct, preventing milk from passing through. The result of this can be frustrating and painful, which is why you should know how to clear clogged milk ducts.
Causes of clogged milk ducts
Too much breast milk
If you are producing too much breast milk, then you are more likely to suffer from clogged milk ducts. Overproduction of breast milk can be a problem when your baby cannot suck it all. The remaining milk in the breasts could then plug the milk ducts.
Breast engorgement is both a symptom and a side effect of clogged milk ducts. Once the channel for draining excess fluids from your breasts isn’t present, then the breast could become full and painful to the touch.
Baby isn’t feeding properly
This is the major cause of breast engorgement/clogged milk ducts. If your breasts suddenly become engorged, you should check if your baby is feeding properly.
Baby is not latching properly when feeding
When a baby is breastfeeding, their mouth must cover the areola. The nipple should be so far into that mouth of the baby to ensure proper latching! If this isn’t the case, the baby isn’t feeding and you should be worried.
You have to ensure that your baby is getting adequate milk before you find out how to clear clogged milk ducts.
You’re not holding the baby in the right feeding position
The correct feeding position will help your ducts say unclogged. One of your baby’s hands has to be behind you, her stomach (navel) should touch your stomach, her head should rest on your arm, and your leg should be slightly raised and your hand should be under your baby’s buttocks. If you don’t get this position right, your baby might not breastfeed well.
If your baby eats too little, sleeps too much, takes more formula, misses feedings, and waits too long before the next feeding, you should know how to clear clogged milk ducts because that might actually be the reason.
This is a deliberate act of not breastfeeding the baby normally so that she can stop breastfeeding altogether. The side effect of weaning your baby from breast milk is that it can cause clogged ducts.
Pressure on breasts
Carrying heavy stuff, wearing too-tight bras, lying on one breast all night, strenuous exercise on your torso (like jogging or running) are all possible causes of clogged breasts.
Symptoms of clogged milk ducts
• Pain in the affected area
• Tender lumps
• Milk blebs
• Heavy breasts
How to clear clogged milk ducts
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. How to clear clogged milk ducts is to prevent the causes of clogged milk duct. This is what you can do to get your milk flowing well again:
a. Wear nursing bras and loose-fitting clothing. Don’t worry too much about giving your breasts shape while you are breastfeeding. Your breasts are naturally supposed to become bigger while breastfeeding. A nursing bra is recommended.
b. Breastfeed your baby as often as possible. Make sure she is latching properly and always alternate the breasts. When you have a clogged duct, start feeding the baby from that breast. If possible, massage the lump as you feed so that it can dissolve quickly.
c. Sleep on your side instead of your stomach (because sleeping on the stomach puts pressure on your breasts). Alternate the sides too.
d. Massage the affected area with warm water. You can also soak your breasts in warm water if you can endure the discomfort. Otherwise, just place a warm cloth on the lump. Taking a warm bath also helps.
e. Drink lots of fluids and rest as much as you can.
f. Also, how to clear clogged milk duct is by avoiding foods and drinks that boost your breast milk production e.g. kunu. Eat more of fruits, vegetables (cannot be overemphasized!) and nuts.
g. Place the baby on the bed, bend over the baby and feed. This is called ‘dangle feeding’.
h. How to clear clogged milk ducts is also possible by putting some certain nutritious foods—cold potatoes, warm cabbage leaves, lavender tea—into your bra! You can also apply original coconut oil or shea butter on your breasts during and after massaging the breasts.
If you follow these tips on how to clear clogged milk ducts and after three days the symptoms persist or get worse, then you should get it checked in a hospital. If the lumps are getting harder, you may need to go to your doctor to rule out other serious conditions.
Resource: Medical News Today
Also Read : 47 incredible uses of breastmilk