If you nurse your baby it’s pretty common to experience a blocked duct at some point! Annoying and painful but they are totally treatable.
If you have a tender lump in your breast/chest but otherwise feel quite well, it’s probably a blocked duct. They can be caused by skipping feeds, latching problems or even wearing too-tight clothing or bras.
Over the past 4 years feeding my bubs I’ve prob had them 6 times and they can be damn painful! It’s really important to clear them as it can develop into mastitis, which can be serious. If you develop a fever or have the chills it’s best to get to the doctor to check it out. I have developed mastitis and managed to get through it without antibiotics but this is not always the case.
1: Rest – as much as possible (I know, easier said than done)
2: Avoid tight clothing – Ditch your bra, tight tops and other fitted clothing. Chuck on a loose shirt for a few days.
3: Feed, feed, feed! – Nurse from the affected side first and as often as you (realistically) can. The goal is to empty the breast/chest as much as possible. Hand express or pump after feeds if your baby isn’t emptying emough.
4: Warm/Cold – Warm: Before a feed can help with milk flow. Cold: After a feed to relieve pain + inflammation.
5: Massage – Gently massage the lump toward the nipple before and during feeds. Try this in a hot shower also.
6: Switch it up – Change nursing positions so all milk ducts are being drained equally.. Google football + dangle feeding positions.
7: Seek medical advice – If the lump hasn’t cleared in a couple of days or sooner if you feel unwell or get a fever. Blocked ducts that aren’t treated can turn into mastitis.