Breastfeeding Problems - Blocked/ Plugged Milk Ducts
Blocked ducts (also known as plugged milk ducts) are a common breastfeeding problem that sometimes happen when your breasts become very engorged particularly in the early days of breastfeeding. Normally only one breast is affected at a time and your affected breast will feel tender to touch and feeding will be uncomfortable. You may also feel a hard lump.
One cause of blocked ducts/ plugged ducts may be badly fitting underwear; it is important to avoid wearing regular underwired bras even occasionally as this can be enough to trigger a blocked milk duct. However, some women find special nursing underwired bras don't cause the same problems as regular underwired bras. As mentioned before, whatever type of nursing bra you choose, always wear a properly fitted one.
You can try to unblock the duct by gently rubbing the sore area towards the nipple - and this is particularly effective if done in the bath or shower - or you could try expressing some milk either manually or with an electric or battery operated breast pump. If the lump does not go away speak to your doctor in case it needs to be examined.
To prevent recurrence, try feeding more often and avoid skipping feeds as this can cause problems.
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