When I was breastfeeding with Luke, I had no issues with clogged ducts or mastitis. With Emma, I haven’t had mastitis but I have had a few clogged milk ducts over the past 8 months and I’ve had to be very careful about ensuring it doesn’t turn into mastitis.
The first thing I would always recommend is to nurse as often and possible as you can! You can also pump in between nursing to help! When I felt particularly sore I would take a hot shower, massage in the shower and then breastfeed or pump after the shower. Because a plugged milk duct is an area of the breast where milk flow is obstructed, the heat helps to relieve that obstruction and get that milk flowing! My symptoms were usually soreness with a hard lump in the breast tissue with pain before and during nursing. Most of time it would feel ALOT better after nursing. The area would be red and sometimes have a bruised feeling as well. The symptoms can vary!
What causes a plugged milk duct? For me, it was always skipping a feeding or wearing nursing bras that were too tight seemed to be the number one thing that would affect me. I’ve also read that if you have it once, you are more prone to get them again.
As long as I would aggressively act to clear the plugged duct, I would usually notice it clear within 24 hours. It’s also important to make sure you are drinking lots of water to help get that plug moved! The other thing I did which made a huge difference was to take Ibuprofen to help with inflammation and it would help take the edge off the soreness. I have read there are natural, herbal remedies you can do but I have not tried them!
For more detailed information, be sure to check out these websites:
Have you had to deal with a plugged milk duct or mastitis?