Unclog Those Ducts

This is a safe space, right?

Please don’t judge me, but I have to say it! I can’t hold it in anymore! I’m tired of breastfeeding.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve breastfeed both of my children. I understand and recognize the true benefits of breastfeeding, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it! I mean, I feel like it’s all I do outside of family and work. It’s exhausting!

My newborn consumes SO. MUCH. MILK. When he’s not feeding, I’m pumping. My fridge and freezer is stock piled full of milk (not a bad thing). I mean there is enough milk to feed all the newborns in my local community.

With this insane amount of milk production, I am prone to clogged milk ducts.

Have any of my other moms out there experience the true nuisance of a clogged duct? The pinging reminder that something is just not right. As someone who has dealt with clogged ducts, and even mastitis (that’s another story), I have some tips for how to take down those periodically tender ducts.

If you suspect you have a clogged milk duct, the first thing you should do is feed your babe on the inflamed side. The more you feed, the more it helps release the clogged duct. You should try to drain the infected side as much as possible. You can ensure this is done by having the baby latch on appropriately, rotate feeding positions, and pump following your feeding. Additionally, I recommend breast compressions and/or massage while feeding. A gentle, yet firm, massage will help breakup the clogged duct.

Along with those remedies, you may be looking for some immediate relief. I’m always searching for a quick fix, especially since I feed and pump 24/7. Warm compresses applied to the inflamed area not only take away the tender feelings, but they also help breakup the clogged duct(s). I like to apply a wet, warm compress right before feedings or take a nice warm shower (a.k.a. a moment of mama relaxation). I also recommend using cold/hot packs (thank you for the mom for the recommendation). It’s so easy to pop them into the microwave for a quick fix.

Now, if you’re doing all of this, it’s been more than 48 hours, and you still feel like you have a clogged duct, it’s time to call your doctor because you may have mastitis. Let me tell you from experience, you do not want to mess around with mastitis. It’s like living with an amplified clogged milk duct accompanied with flu-like symptoms. Yikes!

Even though I’m exhausted by the idea of breastfeeding, I AM a breastfeeding mama. It’s important I take care of myself, so that I can continue to provide my newborn with the “liquid gold” I know he needs. Let’s be honest, there are no benefits of living life with a clogged duct or mastitis…unless you like to torture yourself.

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