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Author

DR ELISE FULLER (oSTEOPATH)

Most of the time, women can breastfeed with ease. But some women may need to overcome roadblocks before they breastfeed successfully.

Blocked ducts is one of those roadblocks. What does a blocked duct feel like though?

The breast has ducts that radiate around the areola. These ducts carry milk from the lobes (milk production site) to the nipple. Sometimes, these ducts become blocked, and lumps form behind them from the build up of milk.

Your breasts may become firm and engorged in this area. You may feel very tender and sore. You might see some redness over the area.

How does this happen?

Every breastfeeding experience is different and sometimes there is no clear reason as to why milk ducts block.

Blocked Duct | Clogged Duct | Osteopathy
How can I help a blocked duct?
  • Place a heat pack on the breast for a couple of minutes or have a warm shower to help soften the blockage and increase milk flow
  • GENTLY massage your breast, focus on the area closest to the areola as this is where the blockage is likely to be
  • Feed from the affected breast first
  • Try different feeding positions to help empty the breast
In between feeds
  • If your breasts are very uncomfortable between feeds, you may need to express a small amount of milk to relieve the fullness, until you feel more comfortable
  • A cold pack after feeding may help you with any pain and inflammation
  • Avoid restrictive clothing and bras during this time
  • If needed, paracetamol may be taken for pain relief. Follow the instructions on the packet

Sometimes you need another approach. Skilled practitioners can help you to move the lumps and drain the region of breast congestion. Ultrasound Therapy and hands-on massage skills to assist your recovery, by Osteopaths with years of experience treating mastitis and other breastfeeding conditions (engorgement, blebs, blocked ducts). Find out more here.

Resources:

https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/breastfeeding/

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/

 

Disclaimer: This information is general in nature. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.

 

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