Clogged Milk Ducts – OUCH

Ok.  Let’s talk a minute about clogged milk ducts.  These jokers are painful!  I have read all about other mom’s experiences about them but I just didn’t have the milk supply to GET the clogs or blockages.

Until Recently.

I have been trying to get my pumps spread out from every 2 hours to every 4 hours.  Once I hit 4 hours, that is when I noticed a little hard tender spot and when I say tender I mean it hurt like nothing else.

Since I had never had a clog, I really had no idea what it was.  I just knew that it hurt.  It hurt to pump, it hurt to massage, it hurt when the shower hit that spot.  I knew mastitis would be so much worse so once I figured out it was a clog, I started working on getting it gone!

I actually pumped a little blood clot looking thing after my first clogged milk duct and it totally freaked me out. BUT after that, it felt SOOO much better.  FYI, a little blood in the milk (light pink) shouldn’t bother baby but if it’s dark pink/red, it’s probably best to dilute with other milk or dump.  It’s normal to pump stringy, globby looking things when dealing with a clogged duct (gross, I know) but it’s your body clearing the obstruction.

Is it a clogged milk duct?

These are some signs it may be a clogged milk duct.

  1. Tender / Painful spot
  2. Small hard lump in that spot
  3. Feels better after pumping / nursing

Tips to get rid of the clogged milk duct

  1. Wet Heat – like the shower or a damp wash rag.
  2. Massage – I used my shower head pulse mode for this.  It hurt like the dickens but it was easier than hand massaging.
  3. Sunflower Lecithin – I read about this before but since I wasn’t prone to clogs, I never really sought it out.  When I had my first clog, I took one capsule three times a day (once I realized it was a clog) and the next day it was significantly better.
  4. Pump or nurse often.  As much as it hurt to pump with the clog, I had to do it.  Now I’m back to pumping every 2 hours.

What happens if I don’t get rid of the clog?

If you stop nursing or pumping because it hurts and do nothing, it’s very likely that it can get infected.  If you start feeling sluggish and have a fever, it’s best to call your doctor.

***I’m no health care physician so please seek your doctor’s or midwife’s advice on these things.  This is my experience and advice from other moms/my midwife that I’m passing on to you.***

Resources / Links

Plugged Ducts and Mastitis

Babycenter – Clogged Milk Ducts



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