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Plugged Ducts

Updated: Feb 19, 2022


And unfortunately, they are pretty common. Let me hit you with some knowledge. 🤯😆

🧐What causes them?

  • baby not draining the breast well and/or frequently enough (examples: poor #latch, #tonguetie, #sleeptraining, strict feeding schedules, baby illness, #teething)

  • pump not draining the breast well and/or frequently enough (#returningtowork, wrong #flangesize, poor suction due to pieces needing to be replaced or motor problems)

  • ill fitting #bra (too tight or not correct size - need to be especially cautious if using underwire)

  • other things like true, chronic #oversupply, sleeping on your stomach or getting a massage while laying on stomach for an extended period of time

  • it’s important to get to the root cause, especially if you keep getting them over and over

  • some women are more prone to them (the thought is that these women may have “fattier, stickier” milk)

🥺?What will happen if they don’t get better?

🤕How are they treated?

  • frequent nursing and/or #pumping

  • #warmcompresses to the affected area before nursing/pumping

  • #breastmassage in and around affected area (usually is tender but I compare it to a deep tissue massage… it sort of hurts so good) while nursing/pumping

  • Try “dangle” feeding or pumping

  • Try switching positions when #breastfeeding (if baby will do that happily)

  • Bonus points for lots of breast massage and hand expression in a hot shower, and then also nursing/pumping immediately after the shower

  • Soaking the breast(s) in a bowl of warm water with #epsomsalt (always rinse breasts afterwards). There are also some hacks out there regarding doing this with a #Haaka silicone pump.

  • Sort of an unspoken phenomenon but some women ask their partner to try and “suck it out” out of desperation.

🤔What is Lecithin?

  • Made from sunflowers, it is a food additive that acts as a fat emulsifier.

  • Some women take sunflower #lecithin supplements while dealing with an active plugged duct or preventatively

  • Since it is a fat emulsifier, the thought is that it helps #breastmilk become “less sticky” and therefore less prone to clumping together and causing plugs.

  • As with any #supplements or #medications, don’t take advice solely from strangers on the internet. Always involve your healthcare provider.

If you are dealing with plugged duct(s) or have any other lactation concerns, I would be so happy to help you on your breastfeeding/pumping journey! More info on my Virtual or In-Home consultations can be found here:

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