Clogged Milk Duct

Blocked Milk Duct
Clogged Milk Ducts

Open a clogged milk duct and get rid of a painful plugged duct, pain in the breast and avoid breast infection in no time at all, using these proven remedies.

Milk stasis or mastitis is caused by one or several milk ducts inside the breast that have become clogged so the milk has a hard time to get out.

Most often one gets milk stasis only in one breast.

The symptoms usually come on suddenly. It often feels like a sore lump or hardening of the breast and the skin may become red.

The milk is obstructed and piling up behind an obstruction but the mammary gland continues to produce milk behind the obstruction. Milk that can’t get out through the nipple.

The breast has milk ducts that flow into the nipple.

Nothing is more painful than a clogged milk duct!

If the duct stays unopened and untreated it can turn into a mastitis, calcify and need to removed surgically.

Clearing A Clogged Milk Duct

  • If you have a warm wet cloth and an electric breast pump you can unplug the duct shortly in no time.
  • You can rent a breast pump at the maternity clinic.
  • Make sure you have a good breast milk collector.
  • Massage the area of the clogged milk duct with circular movements for about two minutes.
  • Apply a very warm wet cloth. And use as much pressure that you can endure.
  • Keep the towel on top on the breast until it is cool.
  • Wet the cloth in very warm water and squeeze out the excess water.
  • Fold it into a small square and put it on the area with the clogged milk duct.
  • Attach a breast pump to the clogged breast while keeping the square cloth in place.
  • Start the breast pump and lean forward.
  • Remove the towel but continue pumping the breast.
  • Massage the clogged area until you notice more milk is filling up the container. This is a sign that the milk duct is unclogged and clear.
  • Turn off the breast pump and remove it immediately, when there is no more milk coming from the breast.

If you can’t clean and unclog the milk duct you need help and assistance from a doctor as soon as possible!

Mastitis vs clogged milk duct:

Milk stasis and mastitis(breast infection) isn’t the same thing.

Stasis in the milk ducts leads to mastitis, but you don’t need to have a stasis in the milk ducts to get mastitis.

It can be enough with mechanical hindrance – for example if you press with a finger against the breast to give the baby free airways during feedings.

How do you get mastitis or milk stasis?

1) The reason that one gets mastitis is because for one reason or other, you haven’t been able to empty the breast completely at one or several breast feedings.

2) Wearing a bra that is too tight and clamming the milk ducts.

3) Because you used a finger pressing down on the breast to keep it away from the baby’s nose during nursing.

4) You got cold breasts or exposed them to cold draft.

5) The baby isn’t sucking properly and isn’t attached correctly to the breast and aureola.

6) Because you are trying to limit the time frame you are nursing the baby.

7) Maybe you didn’t have enough time to finish the breastfeeding and empty the breast, because of a little extra stressful day.


  • A painful lump in the breast that remains after breastfeeding.
  • It soon develops a heat rise and redness in the clogged breast area.
  • You are soon get a rising temperature. It isn’t unusual with fever above 40 degrees and a strong feeling of sickness.


*It is important that you empty the breast. This is best done by breastfeeding often – cluster feeding and pumping if needed.

*Keep the breast warm with a breast warmer, warm rice pillow, fat pad, warm towel and a warm vest or sweater.

*Between each breastfeeding and shortly before nursing, you can get additional warmth by taking a warm shower or a warm bath.

*You may also use a hairdryer and blow warm air on the breast.

*At the same time you should carefully massage the clogged milk ducts area with a mild soap and if you warm the breast with the dryer you can wear a thin shirt to reduce the friction.

*Then, when you put the baby to the breast feed, it is an advantage to to change the breast feeding position so the baby’s chin is against the sore breast.

*The baby is actually helping to express the milk using his chin and tongue.

*It is important the the baby has latched on properly to the breast and aureola with a big open mouth before you allow the baby to start sucking.

*Always let the baby nurse the sore breast first, when the baby is most awake and able to suck more effectively.

*Cluster feedings – frequent feedings is necessary until the lump in the breast disappears.


  • A calm and peaceful environment is important during the breastfeeding sessions. Ask for help to establish this.
  • Don’t wear tight bras and bras with metal support.
  • Do not use a bra when sleeping.
  • Instead use a towel and change it often if it leaks during the night.
  • Instead of pressing with at finger on the breast, which clogs the milk ducts or pulls the nipple in the wrong direction so the baby sucks awry, you can simply move the baby slightly so he bends the head backwards and thus can breathe freely through the nose.
  • Take care to keep your breasts warm.
  • If the breasts are very tenses before the breastfeeding, it may be hard for the the baby to latch on to the aureola. Then you need to express breast milk a bit, which makes the aureola less tense.

Where you can get additional help:

If you need help call don’t hesitate to call the district nurse or midwife. They are there to help you!

In some areas, there are special breastfeeding clinics, lactation clinics giving advice.

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