When you first begin breastfeeding, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s exhausting and challenging, and almost every new mom finds that their milk ducts become clogged frequently. This is not only uncomfortable but also means that your baby isn’t able to get as much milk as they need. Clogged milk ducts are also incredibly painful, which can put you off breastfeeding for days at a time. Read on to discover five ways to help prevent clogged ducts when breastfeeding:
Give your body time to adjust to breastfeeding
As you begin breastfeeding, your body will make more milk when it senses your baby needs it. This happens as a result of a hormone called oxytocin, which also causes your milk ducts to open so that your baby can get to the milk. There’s no way to speed up the process of your body making more milk, but you can help things along by giving your body time to make the necessary adjustments. If your milk ducts are already clogged, your baby won’t be able to get any milk while they wait for the ducts to open. This is why it’s essential to give your body a chance to adjust to additional breastfeeding.
Avoid certain foods and drinks
Certain foods and drinks can cause your milk ducts to become clogged more frequently. First, it’s important to note that there’s no evidence to suggest that caffeine has any impact on milk production. However, it is known to make your breast milk flow more slowly, which means that it can cause clogged milk duct in nipple. Dairy products are another common culprit that’s known to cause milk ducts to become clogged. Some people find that they are lactose intolerant and will therefore struggle to digest dairy products. This can cause your breast milk to become clogged more easily. Certain spices such as chili and cayenne can also cause your milk ducts to become clogged, as can vitamins and supplements.
Use cold compresses
A cold compress can be very helpful in easing the pain caused by clogged milk ducts. However, be sure to use an ice pack rather than a warm compress, as warming the area can cause the ducts to become inflamed. Placing a cold compress on your breast can help to reduce the pain caused by clogged milk ducts and can help to unblock your ducts.
Try gentle acupressure techniques
When your milk ducts become clogged, it can be very painful. You may find that it’s impossible to feed your baby properly until the ducts become unblocked. Luckily, there are a few acupressure points that can help to relieve the pain caused by clogged milk ducts. Massaging the inside of your wrist can unblock your ducts and help you to feed your baby properly again.
Change your position while feeding
Your baby will usually feed most easily in the cradle position, with their head resting on your chest and their body cradled between your arm and your breast. However, you may find that certain positions are more comfortable when your ducts are clogged. Experiment with resting more of your weight on your side and try feeding your baby on your side. You could also try feeding your baby in the football position.
Clogged milk ducts are a common problem for breastfeeding mothers. These five strategies can help to prevent clogged ducts and make breastfeeding more enjoyable for both you and your baby. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t feel bad about breastfeeding with clogged ducts. Your baby will still be getting plenty of milk and will soon unblock your ducts naturally.