Do You Get Clogged Milk Ducts?

Aug 21, 2019 | clog, lecithin, mastitis, sticky milk, tens unit | 0 comments

Breastfeeding is amazing, but clogged ducts and mastitis can quickly turn it into a painful ordeal. Understanding the root causes and implementing effective strategies can make a significant difference in maintaining a smooth lactation journey. Here are three key factors contributing to clogged ducts and practical solutions to avoid and alleviate them:

1. Flange Frustration: Ensure the Right Fit

One overlooked culprit of clogged ducts is using the wrong flange size. It’s essential to choose a flange that fits snugly around your nipple, minimizing space. Measure your nipple size before pumping, not after, to ensure an accurate fit. The correct flange will apply proper suction to your nipple, preventing milk from lingering in the areola and reducing the risk of clogs. You can use the Nipple Queen Ruler to measure which will show you the product size to purchase. 

2. Lecithin and Choline: Unblock the Path

Lecithin, found in sources like sunflower, soy, and eggs, can be a game-changer in preventing clogged milk ducts. According to KellyMom.com, taking one capsule (1200 milligrams) 3-4 times a day for a week is recommended. Reduce to one capsule a day in the second week if no blockages occur. Lecithin helps prevent milk from sticking to ducts, aiding in breaking up clogs. Consistent use as directed can be a valuable addition to your clog prevention routine.

3. Tens Unit Therapy: Zap Away Clogs

For stubborn clogs, a Tens unit can be a lifesaver. Apply it directly to the clog for extended periods, allowing low electrical currents to stimulate nerves and contract milk ducts. This contraction helps dislodge the clog, offering relief from pain and aiding in the restoration of milk flow. The Tens unit can also boost milk supply if used correctly.

Additional Tips for Clog Prevention:

  • Frequent Pumping or Nursing: Regular emptying of breasts discourages clogs. Alternating between applying cold and warmth can enhance the effectiveness of these methods.

  • Dietary Adjustments: If clogs persist, consider lowering sodium and fat intake, as studies suggest this may contribute to causing them.

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Final Thoughts: If you find yourself grappling with recurrent clogs, consulting with your physician can provide personalized guidance. Remember, your breastfeeding and pumping journey should be a positive experience. By addressing flange fit, incorporating lecithin, utilizing a Tens unit, and maintaining regular breast emptying, you can navigate through potential challenges and enjoy a more comfortable and fulfilling experience.

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