The Importance of Early Detection and Treatment for Clogged Milk Ducts

The milk duct system is part of the lactation cycle, which can cause some mothers’ milk to come out in spurts. When the milk ducts are clogged, it may prevent other milk from flowing normally, resulting in milky stales. This applies to all mothers who are breastfeeding as well as those who bottle-feed their babies. The good news is that your baby may still be able to drink enough so that he or she doesn’t need a supplemental bottle of breast milk. Here are some tips on how you can detect if your milk ducts are clogged and how you can treat them for fast results:

Check for Symptoms of a Clogged Milk Duct

When you notice that your milk is coming in spurts, the first thing you should do is check if your milk ducts are clogged. You’ll notice that when your milk flow is normal, it comes in a steady stream. However, you may also experience a lumpy texture with occasional clumps in your milk. If you experience either of these, it’s time to look into what can be causing the blockage. Common causes of blocked milk ducts include:

  1. Dry breasts – This can be caused by a low supply of milk, too much stimulation of the nipple, or a low supply of breast milk storage. It can also result from a low milk flow that doesn’t stimulate your breasts to produce milk.
  2. Breastfeeding in the wrong position – If breastfeeding in the wrong position, it can block the milk ducts and prevent milk from flowing. Some of the most common mistakes are breastfeeding at an incorrect angle, not waiting long enough between feedings, and pumping too much breast milk.

Examine Your Breastfeeding Technique

Next, take a look at your breastfeeding technique. There’s a good chance that your milk ducts are blocked if you’re not using the right technique. Here are some tips that you can use to allow milk to flow freely:

  • Make sure your baby is latched on properly. Avoid stimulating your nipples by bending or arching your back while your baby latches. This can block your milk ducts.
  • Breastfeed in a relaxed manner. Don’t try to “force” milk to flow, or you’ll hurt yourself. 
  • Don’t breastfeed while upright or while standing up. It’s best to breastfeed while lying down or propped up by pillows. This allows the milk ducts to be unblocked.
  • Avoid pumping breast milk. If you need to pump breast milk, ensure you’re latching and keeping your baby latched on properly. This will prevent milk from being blocked.
  • Try pumping softer and slower cycles. These are usually available for pumping and can help to unblock the ducts.
  • Slather your breasts with a mixture of sesame or almond oil. These oils can open the ducts.

Check the Lactation Environment

While the cause of your blocked milk ducts is still unknown, there are still some things you can do to check. One of these is the lactation environment. It’s best to store your milk away from pheromones like deodorant and perfumes because these can also block the milk ducts. Here are some other things that you can do to improve your lactation environment:

  • Don’t store the milk in the fridge. It’s best to store it in the pantry or a cupboard at room temperature.
  • Wash your hands often, as they can have bacteria that can block your milk ducts. 
  • Make sure your pillow is clean as well. Wash it with warm water and soap, or use a hypoallergenic pillowcase.
  • Take a shower or bath often. This allows your breast tissue to be washed and stimulated to produce more milk.
  • Practice yoga or tai chi to increase your relaxation level and help you get into a calmer state of mind.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and make sure you have enough iron in your diet. This helps in releasing the milk from your breasts.
  • Take vitamin supplements and minerals to increase your immune system. 
  • Make sure you get enough sleep and work on balancing your hormones.

Treat the Cause of the Clog

Finally, if none of the above tips work, then it’s best to consult a lactation consultant. This can help you determine what’s causing your milk ducts to be blocked. It may be an infection, a low milk supply, or a blockage of the ducts. Medicines are also available for lactation blockage, which can help unblock the ducts. However, taking medication may not be a good idea if you want to treat your blockage naturally. Again, consult a specialist to provide you with the best treatment.


The most common cause of blocked milk ducts is a low supply of milk. When this occurs, it’s best to stimulate your breasts and feed your baby with the right technique so that you can release the blocked milk. If you don’t do this, your milk ducts will remain blocked, and you’ll experience milky stales. There are also some common causes of blocked milk ducts. These include dry breasts, a wrong position, and storing the milk in the fridge. However, all of these can be solved with a few simple tips. For fast results, it’s best to check your milk ducts for signs of blockage and treat them once you’ve found out what’s causing it. These tips allow you to detect and treat your blocked milk ducts for fast results.

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