Do You Get Clogged Milk Ducts?
I have come across three reasons for getting clogged ducts. 1: You are using the wrong flange size. 2: Your breast milk is sticky, and 3. You’re not emptying your milk enough. How do you prevent them? Now, as an exclusive pumper, I personally haven’t had a clogged duct but many of the moms I help have. They turn to me because they are in pain and ask for advice on what to do since their milk supply is starting to decrease, their breasts are engorged and they just can’t get the clog to go away. So here are some tricks I found helpful for moms suffering from clogs:
- Get the right size flange. You need to get a flange that has minimal space around your nipple. When you measure your nipple it needs to be done before you pump, not after. Using a correctly fitted flange on your nipple will draw the milk out by adding the proper suction to your nipple, not your areola.
- Lecithin (sunflower, soy and egg): According to KellyMom.com, taking 1 capsule (1200 milligram) 3-4 times per day for one week is advised for clogged milk ducts. On week two if you don’t have a blockage you can reduce to one capsule a day. If you end up with another blockage you may need to continue taking 1-2 capsules per day until the blockage clears. Lecithin will help make your milk not stick to your milk ducts. Proper dosage as instructed above will help break up the clog.
- Tens Unit: This can be used for clogged ducts by placing directly on the clog and used for hours if necessary. It produces low electrical currents to stimulate nerves, essentially contracting your milk ducts to dislodge the clog. Not only is the tens unit a great addition to your clog regimen but it is also used for increasing your milk supply if you follow the instructions here.
- In addition to the three items listed above, you will need to pump or nurse as much as possible to encourage the clog to be removed. Manual expressing and heat will be an added benefit for clog removal.
- If you are still having reoccurring clogs, studies have shown that lowering your sodium and fat intake may help.
You can find additional products such as Lavie Lactation Massagers, LaVie Duct Flow and Poke Root as alternatives to the products above here. The good news is you have a lot to chose from to help stop and avoid clogs. If you are suffering from clogged ducts, I highly suggest getting your flange size checked first. A simple consult with me can get you back on a happier pumping journey that doesn’t need to be painful.
“As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”