How to treat Plugged milk duct?

(Last Updated: Mar 18, 2009)

Plugged milk duct is a condition where the nipple is clogged, swollen, and inflamed. The initial signs of plugged duct are appearance of lump which is sore to touch. You can also see redness and pain around the nipple. These conditions may also be an early sign of mastitis, which is a bacterial infection of the breast.

Plugged milk duct happens when the breast cannot drain out the milk produced in the body effectively. There can be several causes leading to a plugged milk duct. Ill-fitting bra, over-production of milk in the body, lack of breastfeeding, illness, or general stress may clog the milk ducts. If left untreated, clogged ducts may resurface as full blown mastitis.

The condition of plugged milk ducts should generally go away on its own. However, you can try out some home remedies to remedy it quickly and effectively. The most important thing to do is to nurse your breasts as often as possible. Massage your breasts by pressing on top of your breasts and gradually going down towards the nipple. Before applying message you can also apply hot compress on your breasts. To make your massages more effective, you can apply a warm wet cloth or heating pads on the breasts so as to help increase circulation in the breasts. You can also massage your breasts by working in circles and finally reaching the nipple. Your sleeping positions also matter; sleep on your back so that you do not put undue pressure on the sore breast. It is important that you continue to breastfeed your baby so that it helps unclog the nipple.

Besides the home remedies, you should also take proper care to choose right clothing. Avoid tight or ill-fitting bra as they tend to put pressure on the milk ducts and cause blockage. It is also important that you wear cotton bras that are comfortable for the skin; synthetic clothing materials are better avoided when you are suffering from plugged milk duct. Mild exercises, proper diet, and good rest are must to remedy clogged milk ducts. Eat healthy and nutritious food and drink ample amount of fluid throughout the day. Do not exert yourself with work as proper rest is very necessary. Some mild exercises, like walking or jogging, may also be quite beneficial.

If the plugged milk ducts still do not open up, you may consider visiting a doctor and seek proper medical advice.

answered by G M

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