A clogged milk duct is extremely painful. Often it occurs in a nursing mom, but it can happen when you're not nursing too. A duct gets clogged for some reason, it swells and gets slightly red and sore.
Most of the time you can resolve this at home on your own, but don't hesitate to see the doctor if you're concerned. If you're suffering from a clogged milk duct, here are 6 things you can do to help unclog it.
1. Compress. Before feeding your baby, Medical News Today recommends using a hot compress on the affected duct. After feeding, apply a cold compress. A bag of frozen vegetables can work really well for the cold compress.
2. Massage. WebMD recommends massaging the affected side starting at the outside of the breast and working towards the nipple.
3. Positions. Baby Center says to try to change the position of the nursing baby, finding the most comfortable position. You may want to point the baby's chin towards the clogged duct to help it drain better. Changing positions often is highly recommended.
4. Empty. To help clear the clog, Medical News Today says to make sure you fully empty the duct. Once you've finished feeding, express any leftover milk so that the breast is fully empty.
5. Frequent feedings. Because the fuller the breast gets, the more uncomfortable you will be, WebMD says that frequent feedings is actually better when trying to unclog the duct.
6. Clogged side first. Baby Center says that when feeding your baby, be sure to start on the clogged side. The suction is better, and generally, the baby eats more at the beginning. This allows you to empty more out of the clogged side.
These simple steps should get you on the way to comfort and unclogging your duct. If you don't find it resolving, be sure to see your doctor.