How To Unclog A Milk Duct Safely And Easily

Tit's Gonna Be Okay - How to Unclog a Milk duct safely and easily - Titty City Design - Boob Planter Cactus

Ouch! Are things getting a little sore Mama?

If you’re reading this, then chances are you have a little (or a big) block in one of your magical milk ducts and are looking for a way to get that sucker out. 

Because a clogged duct can cause intense pain, itchiness, swelling, and make nursing or pumping uncomfortable.

But what happens when you get a clog? The good news is, a blocked milk duct is usually treatable with home remedies. Here’s everything you need to know about how to unclog a milk duct and make breastfeeding happy and pain-free once more!

What does a clogged milk duct look like?

In your beautiful Boobies you have a lot of ducts…kind of like little tunnels…that go all through your breast tissue and lead out through your nipples. 

Sometimes, when you are nursing or pumping, one of those ducts can get clogged. This can happen for a number of reasons such as:

  • Milk has become stuck

  • A missed feed or pumping session

  • Wearing a bra or top that was too tight causing pressure on your breasts

  • A recent change in feeding pattern

  • A poor latch by your baby 

  • Stress and fatigue

  • Cracked skin on your nipples

With a clog, if your Titties aren’t drained well, then the pathway for the milk to come out becomes blocked and milk is prevented from flowing. 

Whatever the reason, clogs happen, and they can be a pain in the Titties. 

You might be wondering what does a clogged milk duct look like? Typically, when you have a clogged milk duct you are first and foremost in pain. A certain section of your Boobie will be sore, possibly red and inflamed, and tender to the touch. You might also have a slower milk flow on one side. Clogged milk ducts feel like a firm, sore lump in the breast.

If it goes further than this then it’s possible you might have mastitis. And that’s something else that we’re going to talk about. 

Clogged milk duct vs mastitis

Well, you have a sore Boob and you don’t know whether you have a clog or mastitis. We hear you, mama. The two can feel very similar. And neither is fun. 

But what is the difference between a clogged milk duct vs mastitis?

With a clogged duct, you’ll experience soreness, tenderness, and possibly inflammation. But it shouldn’t make you feel unwell. And, once the block is unclogged, you should feel just fine and dandy once more.

Mastitis on the other hand is another name for a breast infection. It isn’t as common as getting a blocked duct, but a lot of nursing mamas still experience it. Mastitis will typically appear as a sore, hard, red area on your breast. This is normally accompanied by a fever and flu-like symptoms. 

Now, mastitis is most common in the first few weeks after having your baby, following engorgement…but it can really happen at any time. If you think you might have mastitis then it’s super important to speak to your doctor as soon as possible. 

If mastitis is confirmed you’ll be given medication, but they are some additional things you can do to help the recovery process:

  • Get a lot of rest and sleep to speed up your body’s healing process
  • Place a warm compress on your poor Boobie before you nurse or pump
  • And (even if it’s uncomfortable) continue nursing or pumping. When you empty your breast it will reduce the inflammation. 

Don’t stop breastfeeding as suddenly stopping could lead to a more serious complication. Instead, experts recommend that you warm and empty your breast and get as much rest as possible.

How to unclog a milk duct

So. You’ve got a clogged milk duct.

Now, what do you do?

It’s usually possible to treat a clogged milk duct at home, and you should feel relief within a couple of days.

Here are some of our tried and tested ways for how to unclog a milk duct.

#1 Empty your Boobies

Even if it hurts like a mother, continue nursing or pumping as you normally would. Especially on the affected breast. You want to try and keep it empty so draining your Boobies of as much milk as possible is the best thing you can do.

Titty Tip: Try feeding or pumping on the unaffected Boob first to encourage the letdown. This should make feeding on the affected side slightly less uncomfortable.

#2 Massage

One of the most effective remedies is to massage your sore breast, particularly while you’re feeding or pumping. 

Start at the outside of your breast using the flat of your fingers and apply gentle pressure as you move towards the blocked duct. You might find this easier to do while in the bath or shower. Use the same technique as you would when checking your Boobies on the first of the month.

#3 Hop in the shower

Step into a very warm shower and let the water stream over your affected Boobie. As well as being nice and relaxing, the warm water and pressure can help move things along. Give your breast a massage while you’re there too. It can also help to put a warm compress over your breast when you’re out of the shower. 

Titty Tip: Soak your sore Boob in a bowl of warm water and massage the clog. This is a great option if you don’t have time to shower or you can’t leave the kids unsupervised.

#4 Switch things up

If you normally nurse or pump in the same position, then try mixing things up a bit. Change positions regularly as moving around allows your baby’s suction to better reach the clog.

Titty Tip: Try the “dangle feeding” position which involves nursing while you lean over your baby, letting gravity help unclog your duct!

#5 Try Epsom salts

Epsom salts have been used for decades to help alleviate breastfeeding discomfort. 

Pick up a pack and add the appropriate amount to your bath and let your Titties soak for around 10-20 minutes.  

You can also use them with the suction-style breast pump called the Haakaa. Fill it halfway with hot water and 1-2 tablespoons of the salts. Attach the pump to your affected breast and leave it on for up to 15 minutes to help draw out the clog. 

How do you know when a clogged milk duct is unclogged?

Once you start to feel relief from the discomfort a block can cause, you’ll know you’re almost out of the woods.

When the duct has become unblocked, any pain or tenderness should pass, along with the hard lump and any redness or swelling.

If you feel like the clogged duct isn’t going away with home remedies, or if you start experiencing more severe pain and feeling unwell, then please see your doctor as soon as possible. A clogged duct that isn’t resolved can lead to mastitis.

How can you prevent clogged milk ducts?

Unfortunately, getting clogged ducts is more prone to some women than others. And although you can’t always avoid them completely, there are some things you can do to lower your risk of plugging up!

  1. Breastfeed or pump often to prevent your Boobies from getting encouraged
  2. Take the pressure off - as tempting as those cute underwire bras and tight tops are, they can put added pressure on your Titties and lay the groundwork for clogs
  3. Go slowly if you’re changing your feeding patterns (for example weaning). Drop one feed at a time and wait a few days for your Boobs to adjust before dropping another one
  4. Keep ‘em clean - keep your Boobies fresh and clean and wipe away any dried milk that might be lingering on your nipples
  5. Switch up your nursing positions to help drain your ducts equally
  6. See a lactation consultant to check your baby’s latch if you get frequent clogs

Try these out and let us know how you get on!

You've got some Brave Boobies mama

And we know having a clogged duct is one of those breastfeeding struggles that you wish would just vanish into thin air. But now you know how to unclog a milk duct, if those nasty clogs ever come back, you should be able to get some relief. And get that magic milk flowing again.

You’ve got this Breast Friend! And if you have any clogged milk duct tips of your own, why not share them with your Breasties over on the Titty City Instagram page?

 

At Titty City Design, we believe that every boobie is beautiful, and that should be celebrated. We are a female owned and operated, small business here to spread self love and body positivity with our line of products for the home. A portion of our proceeds go to help support postpartum women and breast cancer patients.

Products that New Moms Love




Breastfeeding Milk Goddess

Related Posts

Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?
Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?
You know what? One of the most common questions new breastfeeding mamas ask each other is, is my baby getting enough mil
Read More
The Essential Titty City Design Mother’s Day Gift Guide
The Essential Titty City Design Mother’s Day Gift Guide
Mother’s Day is fast approaching! Not only is it a day to celebrate the amazing mamas and mama figures in our lives but,
Read More
What are the Benefits of CBD and What You Need to Know?
What are the Benefits of CBD and What You Need to Know?
Cannabis products are legal in several states, and CBD products are gaining popularity and accessibility. But what exact
Read More
When To Stop Breastfeeding And How To Do It Safely
When To Stop Breastfeeding And How To Do It Safely
Ah. Breastfeeding. The magical and miraculous act of feeding, comforting, and sustaining your precious bundle.  But, the
Read More
The Best Breast Pumping Schedule for New Moms
The Best Breast Pumping Schedule for New Moms
Not only have you carried and birthed a tiny little person, but you’re also nurturing and sustaining them with your magi
Read More
Our Top Tips For How To Pump And Store Breast Milk Safely
Our Top Tips For How To Pump And Store Breast Milk Safely
For mamas who pump, it can be a confusing world out there. There are so many questions and concerns we hear on a daily b
Read More

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published