Breastfeeding can be a time of bonding between a mother and baby that could be remembered for life. However, providing this natural source of nutrition to an infant has its disadvantages, one being plugged milk ducts.
As of the enlargement of and tenderness of breasts during and after pregnancy is not enough, a new mother may have to get rid of plugged milk ducts. Otherwise, the breasts may swell and the mother may experience some moderate level of pain. To make matters worse, a mother may not be able to feed her child the way she wants to.
Here are some practical home care methods often used to get rid of plugged milk ducts:
- Pump your breasts between feedings. The milk that comes from your breasts can be pumped out with some kind of mechanical or electronic pumping device that attaches to your nipples. The milk extracted can be stored for at least a few hours in the refrigerator and can be conveniently taken with you in a bottle on short trips. You could also try squeezing some milk out using your hand, although this is more tiresome.
- Prolong feeding times on eat breast before switching. If you do not want to pump your breasts, it is highly recommended to feeding your baby on one breast for a minimum of 15 minutes. Then, you can switch and if possible switch. Usually when a baby is less eager to suck on the first breast this is a sign that the infant is ready to move onto the second one.
- Massage your breasts and gently squeeze your nipples with your fingers. Actually, if you have a supportive partner that person can rub your breasts and/or even squeeze your nipples. However, if you are single you can gently massage your own breasts and squeeze your nipples enough to allow some of the milk to become dislodged from the ducts.
- Get a doctor’s checkup and/or check for milk blisters. Of course a doctor’s checkup would help determine whether or not a milk blister is the cause of nipple clogging. Receiving prompt medical attention will also you rule out the possibility that you are suffering a more serious problem, the worst of which is possible breast cancer.
Sometimes a doctor will recommend lecithin in doses up to 3600 to 4800 mg per day. As the milk ducts unclog, the mother would gradually reduce amount of lecithin taken. In case you are wondering what lecithin is, it is a very common food additive that is provide to be safe when administered in moderate to low amounts.
Another form of treatment that would be undergone would be that which is appropriate for treating mastitis. This requires eating a well-balanced meal of high-quality foods as recommended by a nutritionist, dietician, or doctor. Then, frequent bed rest and regular nursing (every two hours minimum) is advised.
In the worse cases, surgical draining may be necessary. This is done in the event clogged milk ducts or mastitis is left untreated for too long and as a result has turned into a breast abscess.
You should never let plugged ear ducts go treated for longer than 24 hours. It is usually within this window of time that a breast infection or abscess (or beginning of the formation of) is more than likely to occur.
Antibiotics may be one source of treatment administered in some cases if a woman is infected. However, this form of medicine may not always be effective. Aside from all this, a woman needs to beware of the possibility of inflammatory breast cancer which produces similar symptoms as mastitis.