Clogged milk ducts
Clogged milk ducts

If you have a hard lump that’s tender to the touch or a streak of redness on your skin, you probably have a clogged milk duct. Untreated, this could easily develop into an infection called mastitis, which would cause you to feel feverish as well.

Prevent clogged milk ducts by:

  • Adequately draining your breast at the end of a feeding. Unfortunately breasts aren’t equipped with measuring cups, but make sure your baby feeds for at least 10 minutes per side and each breast feels soft at the end of a nursing session
  • Wearing a well-fitting breastfeeding bra - without underwire
  • Not skipping feedings, which can lead to engorgement 
  • Vary your breastfeeding positions

Treat clogged milk ducts by:

  • Continuing to feed and empty the breast, which will eventually reduce the inflammation. Try applying warm compresses before a feeding session to assist in drainage
  • Continuing to vary breastfeeding positions. Some recommend pointing your baby’s chin at the infected duct, perhaps directing suction to the infection
  • Resting -  which means enlisting extra help


Related stories:


Breastfeeding positions
Lactation aids
Breast care

Written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot, New Zealand's leading pregnancy and parenting resource.



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