Blocked Milk Ducts and Breastfeeding
You can treat a blocked duct with self-care measures. To help unblock milk ducts, you can:
- Take a warm shower or apply a warm, wet compress several times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. To make a warm compress, soak a hand towel in warm water. Wring out the excess water and place the towel on the affected breast. Cover the compress with a second, dry towel to trap the heat.
- Massage over the area of the blocked duct, moving toward the nipple, before and during breastfeeding.
- Breastfeed more frequently.
- Use a variety of breastfeeding positions.
- Feed from the affected breast first. This moves the milk through the breast more effectively, because the baby's sucking is most intense at the beginning of a feeding session.
- Take ibuprofen to reduce swelling. Before you take any kind of medicine, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to use while you are breastfeeding.
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMay 22, 2015