Blocked milk ducts are a common issue with all the mothers who breastfeed their infant. If due to some reason milk stops flowing out of the nipple from any milk duct, a clot is formed inside. There could be redness around the area of the lump that is likely to extend to the chest wall. A blocked milk duct can lead to bouts of pain. The area in which the clot is formed may become sore when touched and may cause pain and tenderness. The milk supply will also reduce and your infants will not be able to feed properly. The reason behind this blockage may be many. If you skip feedings or you child has stopped taking milk due to any reasons, you may have such problem. Wearing extremely tight cloths that are putting pressure on a milk duct may also lead to its temporary blockage.
If you sleep on your stomach it will put extra pressure on the milk ducts leading to its closure. Some minor issues like cold, lack of sleep and stress may also be a reason behind blocked milk ducts. Whatever be the reason you need to get rid of the painful blockage as soon as possible. These are some home remedies for blocked milk duct that can give you relief in the pain and will make the milk flow once again.
Home Remedies For Blocked Milk Duct
Gentle breast massage
If you feel tenderness in your breast, give a firm but gentle massage every time you feed. If you can do it with your own hands, well and good as you know where exactly the affected area is; but if you can’t take your partner’s help, a free of cost home remedy for blocked milk duct. Handheld massagers are also available in market these days. Try to squeeze out milk from the blocked duct by pressing it gently.
Cabbage warm compress
Giving your breast a warm compress is the best way to open up the blockage by raising the temperature of the surroundings, making it an effective home remedy for blocked milk duct. You can use a cotton towel or a cabbage leaf also. Taking cabbage leaf allows the heat to reach every corner since it has shape that will cover the entire breast. If you are doing it with a towel, soak it in warm water and then rub it gently. If you choose cabbage leaf, microwave it for 30 seconds and then apply it on the breast for 2 minutes.
Lecithin to prevent future blockages
Lecithin works in curing blocked milk ducts by making the milk less sticky and easy flowing. Many women have found that lecithin supplements may help prevent recurrent plugged ducts. Lecithin is said to increases the amount of poly-unsaturated fatty acid in breast milk, which results in milk that is less sticky, and hence being a natural home remedy for blocked milk duct. If the milk becomes less sticky, it will not clog frequently. All you have to do is take the supplement in capsules form. Consult your doctor if are doubtful about starting it.
Vitamin C can heal the existing blocked milk duct and it may also prevent the problem from reoccurring acting as a natural home remedy for blocked milk duct. All the citrus fruits rich in vitamin C are the best way to reduce inflammation in any part of your body. They are also said to boost the immunity so that you will not have the same problem again and again. It is also a great natural remedy for stress, which is a common cause of blocked milk ducts. You should increase your daily intake of foods that are rich in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers, and broccoli. This is the best home remedy for blocked milk duct as they are very refreshing and at the same time beneficial as well.
Potato cold compress
Many women have found that a cold potato can help relieve the pain associated with a blocked milk duct, acting as a really effective home remedy for blocked milk duct. Simply refrigerate a potato for a few hours, and then grate some of the potatoes. Apply the grated potato over the affected breast and cover with a clean wash cloth or towel for 5 minutes while lying down. Repeat this every hour throughout the day using some freshly grated potato. The cold potato helps to reduce the heat from the inflammation, which may help to unplug the milk duct.
Change the way you feed your baby
Clogged milk ducts may result from wrong pattern and technique of breastfeeding. It is hence best to address the root cause and modify the way you feed your infant. Just by making a few adjustments you can treat the existing blocked ducts, and even prevent future blockages. This home remedy for blocked milk duct is the most natural one. Do not give more gaps between two feeds; feed your child regularly in order to drain most of the milk. If your baby does not drink the entire milk due to any reason, use a breast pump to take out the extra milk.
Make sure your baby is getting a good latch
It is often seen that clogged milk ducts are bothering you due to a poor latch. Because the milk may not be coming out evenly from the breast, that may have lead to blockage of one or more duct. Consult your pediatrician if you need further help.
Experiment with position.
If you are already experiencing blocked milk duct issue despite of feeding frequently, try to feed in a different position than the one you do in most of the time. Your baby may get a hold on those ducts which are blocked, and once he/ she manages to get the milk out of it, pain and swelling will also vanish. A new position may also help to improve latching if you are experiencing latching problems, thus being an efficient home remedy for blocked milk duct. It is often said that if you position the baby so that the baby’s chin is pointing towards the blocked milk duct while breastfeeding, the blockage will clear its way for milk.
Blocking of milk duct is not a major issue, but if you leave it untreated it may develop some infection and rigorous inflammation. In order to avoid all this, you should try to melt the milk that has been accumulated. And for further precautions, add more nutritious food to your diet. This will definitely be beneficial for both, you and your child. Drink plenty of water to avoid dryness. Take green leafy vegetables and more of citrus fruits. These home remedies for blocked milk duct will definitely help in quick healing in case of any infection and also prevent any re-occurrence.