How common are blocked milk ducts?
About two-thirds of breastfeeding mothers experience blocked milk ducts at some point.
Author: Idan Ben-Barak
First answered: 14 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.7/5 Votes: 168
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Breastmilk is produced in the mammary glands within the breast, and flows through milk ducts to the nipple. These ducts can become blocked, causing the breast to become tender and sore.
Signs of a blocked milk duct include: the breast is sore, hot or tender to the touch; a soft or firm lump can be felt in the breast under the skin; the skin over the affected area may appear bluish in color, and; sometimes a white dot can be …
Milk ducts can get blocked when milk is not drained well from the breast and thickens inside the ducts. Some things that can add to the risk of a duct getting blocked are: going too long without feeding, skipping feeds; poor feeding and attachment technique; …
Blocked ducts can often unblock by themselves after a day or two. Massage and warm compresses, soaking the breast in warm water, improving feeding technique, more frequent feeds, continuing to breastfeed, and resting and cuddling with your baby can help …
In most cases, a blocked milk duct will clear on its own within a day or two.
Good feeding technique, frequent feeds and breast draining, and avoiding pressure on the breast will help prevent blockage of milk ducts.
Milk ducts can become blocked again. Some women are more susceptible to this than others.