Breastfeeding is a natural, healthy, and convenient way to feed your baby. But when problems arise, you may be tempted to ditch your nursing bras for something a whole lot easier. Although the issues are usually temporary, the pain and discomfort of a clogged milk duct can make nursing nearly unbearable. If continued nursing, pumping, and warm compresses aren't helping ease your discomfort, you will want to know how to massage breasts to clear a blocked duct.
When you start nursing, your body needs time to adjust the amount of milk you produce to your baby's needs. As this is happening, you may discover that you're making more than your baby's belly can handle. The result of this breast milk surplus is often a clogged milk duct, according to La Leche League International. Additionally, according to Baby Center, an improper latch and even a ill-fitting nursing bra can also result in a clogged ducts.
Swollen painful breasts can make you want to give up nursing for good. Fortunately, there are things you can do at home to give yourself some relief. In order to relieve your clogged duct, What To Expect noted that it's important to remove all of the milk from the breast. Massage can be an effective means of relieving the pressure and getting things flowing regularly again.
What To Expect also noted that by treating the clog, you should experience some relief within a day or two. According to Mama Natural, however, if left untreated, the clogged duct can lead to an infection or mastitis.
Remember, as a new mom, taking care of yourself is just as important as caring for your baby. Before you get ready to throw in the towel on breastfeeding, try showing your breasts a little love with a massage to help ease the pain of clogged ducts.
1. Apply Pressure With Your Palm
In order to relieve your clog, it's import to put pressure on the affected area to help drain the milk. According to What To Expect, you should use your palm to press firmly on the area of the milk duct clog.
2. Move In The Right Direction
Before your baby begins to nurse, take a warm shower or apply a warm compress to your breast. While your breast is still warm, begin to massage your breast. Start at the chest wall and work inwards towards the nipple, according to Dr. Sears.
3. Use A Circular Motion
When it comes to massaging your breasts, it's all about the technique. While your baby is nursing, Kid Spot noted that you should massage the area of the clog in a circular motion. Be sure to start behind the lump.
4. Use Coconut Oil
Mama Natural also noted that using coconut oil as you massage your breasts can help soften the breast tissue and relieve some of the pain. As a bonus, the oil can also help soothe cracked nipples.