Clogged Milk Ducts : Symptoms, Remedies

One of the most common problems experienced by mothers who are still in the nursing phase is a clogged breast duct. It can happen at any time during this period and is caused by a block in one or more of the milk ducts in the breast. Due to this the milk is unable to pass freely through the ducts and accumulates behind the blocks. When this happens it can usually be seen in the form of small lumps on the breast which can be quite painful to the mother. If a clogged breast duct is not cleared soon there is a good chance that more serious infections can occur in the breast. Listed below are the some of the common symptoms and a few possible treatments to help clear this condition.


The first 3 symptoms are the most common indications of a clogged breast duct and should be looked into.

  • A hard lump on the breast that is sore to touch
  • Tender spots on the breast
  • Redness of the breast
  • Pain in areas of the breast
  • Feeling feverish


Nursing bras are the best option to prevent this condition failing which wear a bra that is firm and avoid those that are too tight or constricting.

Pump out excess milk after each feeding. This will prevent buildup of excess milk in the ducts and keep them clear. Excess milk in the ducts is the reason for the clogged milk ducts.

Feed your baby frequently and on ensure that he/she feeds on both sides as this will keep your breasts empty and prevent buildup of milk.

Changing positions while feeding will help the baby suck different areas of the breast. Doing this will help keep all the ducts clear.

If you are already suffering from clogged milk ducts have the baby suck on the breast with the clogged milk duct first for this will help alleviate the pain as the ducts start emptying.

If you stop breastfeeding the baby it will only clog the ducts more and worsen the situation as the milk accumulates.

A warm compress, applied two or three times a day on the breast area will help soften the ducts and ease milk flow. Hot tubs, showers and baths work just as well.

Do not let too much time elapse between feeding sessions. Resting as much as possible also helps.