So many of us have had that unbelievable pain of the clogged duct, or have read about it in the local Breastfeeding Group on Facebook. You name it: Badass Breastfeeders, La Leche League, Breastfeeding Your Way. When it comes to the plugged duct, we will do anything for relief and we will ask anywhere. Truth be told, ask your Bend & Blossom Doula or your nearest Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). As always with Mommy Groups and with Dr. Google, you may not always find the best information and the safest advice.
When a client or student calls me with a case of “possible plugged duct” or “feeling of hard breast with clogged duct” questions, my immediate go-to information is the following:
- I would like to see this cleared up by tomorrow morning before fever starts or any flu-like symptoms.
- Get yourself to the store and stock up on these essentials: Wide-toothed Comb, Epsom Salt, and Sunflower Lecithin capsules. You will also need wide-mouthed shallow bowls.
- Nurse on the affected side often. Not a lot of the time, but more than that. Nurse, nurse, nurse.
After your visit to the store, let’s talk again to come up with our strategy. I keep it simple.
You will use that Epsom Salt to make salt water baths in the shallow bowls. This goes like this: Boil water, pour that water into those shallow bowls and add Epsom salt. Let the salt dilute or melt as the water cools off. Have a towel handy and when cool enough, rest your ENTIRE breast in the water for a nice warm soothing bath. Be comfy here and let those boobies rest while you can relax to your favorite TV show or guided meditation. There’s no rush.
Sunflower Lecithin capsules can be taken by mouth . I will also tell you to pop a capsule and rub that oil into the affected area hard/red or affected spot on the breast where you feel the symptoms. Do that often.
Next, I will tell you to do the Epsom Salt bath, rub the oil into your skin over the affected area, feed your baby, and massage the affected area while you nurse your baby. OFTEN and AGAIN.
Dangle feed your baby. This involves you getting on all-fours, or leaning very forward OVER your baby with your baby’s chin directed toward the area of the clogged duct and NURSING this way.
A warm compress or a hot shower with the hot water running over the affected breast is also helpful. Do this as part of your routine.
Comb the spot with your wide-toothed comb to move any spots of milk deposits.
By now, you have had your practice… You have tried everything on my list of proven strategies and you trust me to know that I know how to move the plugged duct before it becomes mastitis tomorrow.
So, let’s put it ALL TOGETHER NOW!
- Epsom salt boobie bath or warm compress.
- Rub Sunflower Lecithin on red or hard spot.
- Dangle Feed baby while you comb the stringy spot with the wide-toothed comb.
- Warm compress to alleviate symptoms as healing happens. You might feel bruised in the spot where the clogged duct was.
Repeat often until resolved. It should only take a few times.
If you have any more question, please call us at 732-784-3161. Local or not… We are here to help!