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Preventing Mastitis: 3 Tips for Plugged Ducts

Milk flows to baby from mother through a network of ducts. Sometimes these ducts can become clogged, causing the breast to become painful. If the duct does not unclog on it’s own, the breast can become infected (called Mastitis) and require antibiotics.  If you notice a knot or sore spot in your breast try these three things to help unclog the duct before it turns into an infection.

Keep Breastfeeding

Nurse often and in different positions. Engorgement will only exacerbate the situation and baby is perfected ok to nurse from a troublesome breast. If an infection is present or becomes present there is no harm to the baby.

Nursing in different positions and nursing often will help ensure that the entire breast is drained. If there is a noticeable lump in the breast massage this area while the baby nurses. This will encourage the duct to empty.

Hot compresses


Wet or dry heat will help sooth and encourage the ducts to empty. Try a heating pad, a hot water bottle or even a hot shower to help encourage milk flow. The Nuzzlehug Pictured above can be purchased on our website HERE and is good for hot and cool therapy. Nurse immediately after your hot shower or after applying the compress while the breast is still warm


Just like with any infection, rest is key to allow your body to fight the infection. If you catch it before a plugged duct become an infection rest can help nip it in the bud early. A breast infection can come with a fever. If you develop a fever and your sore breast persists, contact your doctor. You may need an antibiotic. Be sure to remind the dr that you are continuing to breastfeed through this so a compatible antibiotic is prescribed.


Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of three. If you liked this posting please follow her on Twitter @writerbonnie or like her on Facebook at for more great info on Raising Kids.  

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